Saturday 28 February 2015

Brett Netson & Snakes - Scavenger Cult (EP Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 24th March 2015
Label: Self Released
Scavenger Cult – Track Listing

1. Play On
2. All Creatures Kill
3. Sharpening Knives


The solo project of BRETT NETSON, well-known for his time spent in Built To Spill, Caustic Resin, on Earth’s most recent album and much more, will debut this Winter, as BRETT NETSON & SNAKES prepares their Scavenger Cult EP for release.

Spawned in Idaho’s Great Basin/Snake River Plain, Brett Netson specializes in heavy, psychedelic, lowdown rock and roll guitar; in some ways, that’s all a person needs to know. But with the upcoming release of his newest full-time project – BRETT NETSON & SNAKES, and the band’s debut, Scavenger Cult — as with the artist’s ‘2009′ intimate solo doomsday meditation, Simple Work For the Dead, and all six of Caustic Resin’s full-length releases, there is much evidence that there are different dimensions to Netson’s existential, freak out rock records. “The spirit made it through with no digitization” Recorded on 2” 16-track tape with Jason Ringelstetter at Tonic Room in Boise, Idaho, mixed to 1/2″ tape by Steve Lobdell at Audible Alchemy in Portland, Oregon with analog mastering at Salt Mastering in Brooklyn, New York, the release features drummer Steve Gere, and stereo bass contributions from Ian Waters and Josh Gallaway, in addition to guitar, bass and vocals courtesy of Netson.

Issues the frontman of his latest venture, “Scavenger Cult was made specifically for the decent ‘70s tuners and turntables that you can still occasionally find at yard sales, pawn shops and thrift stores. Crank this motherfucker up, open the front door and sit on the porch. Smoke, drink, whatever, and just be okay with your damn self and ALL the crazy shit that you are.”


I didn't know what to expect with Scavenger Cult. The Debut EP from Brett Netson & Snakes. At first I thought this was a Country Rock outfit - (Apologies Brett). Then I read Brett's impressive bio and I knew I had to give this EP a chance. Brett Netson has performed and worked with legendary bands and musicians such as Mark Lanegan and EARTH. Plus he used to be part of legendary rockers – Caustic Resin.

The Press PR Sheet said that Scavenger Cult features Heavy Psychedelic Low-Down Rock and Roll. Now that intrigued me and I give Scavenger Cult a spin. WOAH!!! - Wasn't I impressed straight away with the opening track - Play On - that plays like a love letter to all things Space Rock, Desert Rock and Stoner Metal. Imagine Monster Magnet in a more reflective mood with shades of Americana appearing. Play On is pure spaced out riffs with a trippy sideline of delicate hooks to impress you with. Brett is on fine form with passionate vocals to match. The EP has a subtle drone atmosphere hiding in the background that gives Scavenger Cult a more rugged appeal.

Second track - All Creatures Kill sees Brett Netson & Snakes offer a more heartfelt approach compared to the opening track. It's a creepy and more subdued offering that allows the band play some impressive Stoner based riffs that have a sense of sadness and anguish. It's more of a doom and gloom affair where the music speaks for itself. This song has shades of EARTH running through its veins which isn't surprising considering that Brett worked on their last album. Don't be fooled though as this is still a work of stunning originality in it's own right.

Wait until you hear the final track as Brett Netson & Snakes prove they are worth giving a thing about. The final track - Sharpening Knives - is 11 minutes of droned out, psychedelic stoner/desert rock riffs with impressive atmospheric vocals to match. This is where the band trip out into Space Rock territory in a big way as the riffs are HUGE. The music comes crashing around you with the band embracing their Psychedelic Stoner Metal sound. I would love to see and hear this song played live as its powerful ride into the unknown. One of the other highlights of this song is Brett's vocals as he reminds me of a younger Dave Wyndorf. Scavenger Cult is a brilliant ride from start to finish.

Don't pass this EP by as you'll regret it. If you want something bold and daring in the realm of Psychedelic Space Rock/Stoner Rock then Scavenger Cult is a must-have release. I can't wait to hear the debut full length album from Brett Netson & Snakes as these guys have some unfinished business that an EP is never enough. Incredible. As Brett wisely states - Crank this motherfucker up!!!

Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo. Scavenger Cult will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from March 24th 2015.

Words by Steve Howe

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