Thursday, May 17, 2012

Something Snapped For Glasgow Punk

For the Glasgow-based melodic punk band The Day I Snapped (Snapped), running without a label has become second nature. Even after Lockjaw Records released their debut album, Hooked On Disaster in 2006, the band found themselves wondering what the label experience meant.

"When it came to releasing the next album, I was fairly keen to self-release from the start," says guitarist Richie Bradford. "It was something I had always wanted to do and I felt that there wasn't anything the label had done that we couldn't manage ourselves."

Maybe what it meant was nothing much had changed since the band first came together in 2000. They compose great music. They tap former bassist Chris Gordon (Baby Chaos/Union of Knives) to produce it. And then they book as many shows as they can to promote it, with a few bigger breaks along the way — like opening for Offspring, picking up a live session for Radio One's BBC, or having a couple of songs added to a motion picture soundtrack. 

Tales Of Ordinary Madness by The Day I Snapped deserves another turn. 

It also means the members are always competing against a time crunch, even when they aren't looking for a new bassist (they've had eight) or keeping up with responsibilities at home. They've become a mainstay in Glasgow, but haven't had enough opportunities to step out from it.

"If the guys in the band might have been a little younger, with less responsibilities, then we could have been in a position to gamble a bit more and head off into the unknown to play hundreds of gigs a year on the road," says drummer Craig Brennan. "We were never really in a position to do that. For me, joining this band was a last throw of the dice."

According to Brennan, many of their breaks took unlikely turns. Potential tours were canceled. Shows in England were canceled. The timing wasn't right. And the band formed late, coming together only after Bradford and Brennan (Beauty School Dropout) met singer Alan Easton (Mixu). 

As it turns out, that isn't a bad thing. Easton, who likes to write lyrics reflective of where he is in life or subjects that have an impact, would have never written the song No Answers ten years ago. The song, one of the sharpest on the album, hits on aging and making peace with lost youth. Contrast that with Start Again from their first album.

"I remember reading an interview with Wiz (Mega City Four) about how he tried to take inspiration from Bob Mould (Husker Du/Sugar) with regards to Mould writing about whatever touched them personally as a good starting point," said Easton. "I tried to pay attention to that approach when I first attempted to write songs years ago. The Mire, for example, is about people with addiction problems and how people who know them could have helped them better before, during, and after."

Both songs deviate from what Gasglow fans might recognize as Snapped, but there's an introspective roughness that makes them appealing. The same can be said for Find The Time, which has fallen by the wayside because it didn't hold up as well during live performances.

More familiar standouts include Trucks Of Nicaragua, itsjustadamnpopularitycontent, and Shadows Of The Past. A relentless physical presence, catchy choruses, and instrumental flares make up much of the signature sound.

"I'm personally really looking forward to getting out on tour this summer. It's been too many years since I got in the back of the van and properly hit the road," said Bradford. "We're doing a split tour with two band from down south (England) ... and we already have some ideas floating around at the moment and might have something new recorded by the end of the year."

The two bands Snapped is expected to join this July are Everything We Left Behind and Mug. Otherwise, the band says the punk scene is pretty healthy in Glasgow with promotors like Make That A Take Records and Wreckin' Pit helping to establish a convincing revival.

The Day I Snapped's Tales Of Ordinary Madness Snaps 7.6 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

Tales Of Ordinary Madness is a fine body of work across a cohesive album, one that will finally capture some well-deserved attention on the road. While touring, Stuart Burnside (Burning Boy/Gallus Cooper) will be playing bass. Andy McFarlane (bass), who is featured on the album, headed to London shortly after band wrapped production.

Tales Of Ordinary Madness by The Day I Snapped is available on iTunes. Tales Of Ordinary Madness [Explicit] can also be downloaded on Amazon. You can keep up on their touring schedule on their Facebook page. On Twitter, they bill themselves as unpopular since 2000. Maybe, but they are cool.

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