Posted by: will | July 3, 2007

The Snake The Cross The Crown…

The Snake The Cross The Crown “Cotton Teeth” (Equal Vision)


The Snake The Cross The Crown is one of those bands that has changed dramatically since their beginning. Every release has showcased a different incarnation of the band and Cotton Teeth is just the latest version. The band’s last release, Mander Salis, was one of my favorite albums of 2004. So, it was with great anticipation that I first listened to Cotton Teeth. As with most bands that refuse to stand still, their albums might take a little longer to digest. That has definitely been true with Cotton Teeth.

Instantly noticeable is that Cotton Teeth has a more stripped down folk rock approach than the expansive Mander Salis offered. The band starts out with “Cakewalk” which is gorgeously bare song that is only hindered by the song’s over the top cheesy lyrics of I wanna live on the stage/I wanna play the guitar, and I wanna get paid/ But no responsibilities please. I wanna do what I want and I wanna get paid. However, it is that same earnestness that endears the band all across Cotton Teeth. The band has morphed rather naturally into a lazy, rootsy rock band. Where the band is at their best is when they mix that newfound approach with the instrumental flourishes shown on Mander Salis. “Electronic Dream Plant” is the album’s highlight just for that simple fact. It adds those accents which are all too often missing from Cotton Teeth. Still ever present though is the glorious vocals of Kevin Jones. Jones’ vocals are akin to Jeff Buckley and they are able match the lazy moods on Cotton Teeth with a genuine flair. There are some beautiful songs here but Cotton Teeth still struggles at times to get out of first gear.

You have to respect a band like The Snake The Cross The Crown for never feeling satisfied. Bands like Snake Cross Crown are always looking to push their art into different new corners. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Cotton Teeth is a good album no doubt about it. However, as much as I enjoy Cotton Teeeth, when I reach for a Snake Cross Crown album to listen to, it will most likely be Mander Salis.

RIYL: Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, The Beatles


The Snake The Cross The Crown – Behold The River (mp3)


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