Battle Snakes On Fire '99

Punk rock'n'roll has always been un-cool to the vast majority. It's not heavy enough for metal dudes, but it's a bit too rockin' for punkers to wrap their brains around. Still, it's easily one of the most aggressive, inspiring and fearless forms of music going, as Vancouver, BC's Battle Snakes clearly understand. They're one of few bands today that can relate to the barbaric attack, soul-inspired fire and in-your-face attitude of this wonderful sub-genre. That sentiment is readily echoed on latest effort On Fire '99, an album that celebrates their beloved genre via some of Canada's unsung and long-deceased forefathers. From opener "Let Us Sing" (Tricky Woo) through a version of Les Tabernacles' "Get Up," the Spitfires' "High School" and more, these guys get the crash'n'slash of dirty rock and dirtier denim. Naturally, some of the tunes are better suited to the Battle Snakes' style than others and one could spend hours debating which deserving bands were omitted (Bitchin' Camaros and Red Hot Lovers come to mind), but the trio manage to cover an impressive swath of Great White greats with infectious energy, trashy virility and sincerity. At that, On Fire '99 is nothing less than a rousing soundtrack to punk rock'n'roll's modus operandi: pounding bottles of 50, breaking something inanimate and just living for the moment. (Transistor 66)