Deadly Snakes Last Show

Deadly Snakes Live by Canderson
Deadly Snakes Live by Canderson
posted Thursday Aug 24th, 2006

The Deadly Snakes will play their final show at the Horseshoe Tavern in their home town of Toronto this Friday. After a decade of touring, four albums and a couple of singles, they've decided to move on and they'll surely be missed. Over the past ten years, The Deadly Snakes have transformed their sound from a murky rhythm & blues romping to the pop consciously brilliant Porcella.

Their first LP, Love Undone, which came out on Sympathy for the Record Industry, was recorded by Greg Cartwright and features the ex-Oblivian on a couple of tracks. Their bluesy waltzing sonance carried from tune to tune with chafed vocals, their signature horns, and gospel reminiscent keys all seemed to boast everything that was great about rock'n'roll at the time. There was a time in the late 90s before the big “garage” bust, where this neophytic slop-sound always seemed to flake off something that was surely genuine and always a great time. The Canadian rock'n'roll contingent that included acts like The Spaceshits, The Irritations, and The Daylight Lovers among others, were all doing something similar, including The Deadly Snakes. That was solidified by the release of the “Harem of Hits” compilation on the Sultan record label, run by then Spaceshit head, Mark Sultan who now goes by the moniker BBQ.

By the time I'm Not Your Soldier Anymore was released in 2001 by In the Red, Greg Cartwright became an official member. His incorporation in the band lent to their pre-existing sound, as his prior bands, The Oblivians and even more so, The Compulsive Gamblers, were a launch pad of the resurgent soul-squashing boogie that was going on at the time—or at least to that particular group of Canadians. The production value of the album was a slightly sloping step-up from their debut, but, though premeditated or not, this was a salient and welcoming anomaly from their previous releases. It seemed by this time that the Deadly Snakes were a band that didn't want to be painted in the “garage” corner and were destined for greater things than the usual genre specific compasses that often dull the edge of a well honed band.

Their third album, Ode to Joy, came out in 2003 and for many it was the apex of their output to that point. This time without Cartwright's inclusion, and even cleaner production than their previous work, it seemed they were weaning their fans for a sound made for a wider audience. They were simply growing as a band and they were ready to take on something aurally different. Either way, their fans were poised to swallow whatever they were going to spoon out next.

Over the years, they have become known for their high energy live acts with a horn section. Max “Age of Danger”['s] psychotic stage presence and their ceaselessly intense transition from song to song, their sets often left audience out of breath grabbing their kneecaps in exhaustion. They were hard to follow and were never suited as an opening act. They played the infamous Horizontal Action Blackout in 2004 and delivered a rib-smashing performance that closed the opening night with a life-ruining set.

Last Fall, In the Red released their final album Porcella. Again pushing the boundaries of their previous releases, they came up with the most dramatically splayed release yet. The envelope had been torn completely in half and fell to the floor. With a focus that laid heavily on their astute song writing, they completely blew away any preconceived label. They extended their instrumentation to include a string section and featured songs that swayed into more folk territory and back again. With a nomination for Canada's presigous Polaris Music Prize this year, it seems like it worked. Their final set is this Friday in Toronto at the at the Horseshoe Tavern with BBQ as the opening act. You can get tickets here.

Here they are playing "High Prices Going Down" from Porcella at the Horseshoe last year.