Have you ever had one of those songs that get stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.
“Snakedriver” by The Jesus and Mary Chain
I love reverb. I love feedback. I love noise. The aesthetic has dominated my musical preference for over 20 years through one genre or another, luring me through so many layers of guitar, so many delay effects, so many echoes, and so much ear piercing triumph. Naturally, I’m a big fan of Scottish act The Jesus and Mary Chain. How could I not be? While the band started to see diminishing returns on their output during the 1990’s before their eventual breakup (and then inevitable reunion a decade later), “Snakedriver,” from 1994’s Stoned and Dethroned has been in my constant rotation since I first heard it in the ninth grade.
That year was a wonderful time for me musically, as I discovered so many artists and sounds that have stayed near and dear to me for the last two decades. Just do a Google search of albums released in 1994. It’s mind boggling. But back to “Snakedriver.”
The track immediately begins pulsing, a hypnotic, steady tambourine beat that slowly drowns under the growing guitar feedback. It feels like being underwater. It feels like falling or like floating in the sky. Honestly, it feels like getting high. For years this song has been able to put me into a mild trance or ease me into sleep…despite the noise, and it has this classic kind of throwback melody that would fit easily into the catalog of any 60’s garage pop band. But I guess that was kind of their thing. The Jesus and Mary Chain’s sound was always just a much denser and cacophonous version of Phil Spector’s “wall of sound” anyway, with occasional forays into surf rock. And god bless them for that.
The song also appeared on the soundtrack to The Crow that same year, and regardless of your feelings toward the film in general, that compiled soundtrack was an absolute monster when I was fifteen.
From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.