This is the first solo work from Snake AKA Nic Barbeln and all we can say is thank christ it made it onto record let alone into our hands - given his other band projects circulate around the nether regions of the US west coast CDR scene (where they'll probably stay). Sonically his solo work is in the more sedate, acoustic image of Mark Alexander McIntyre, crossing between demented minor-key psych folk, meditative raga chants and more traditional heart-wrenching lyrical songwriting (shades of Russell St. Bombings, early Alvarius B., Charalambides and Brunnen’s classic Sometime My Arms Bend Back), kept in place by two beautifully judged, SPK-ish industrial instrumental bookends, and with an excursion into sensuous dream-pop on the anonymously (female) vocalled 'She Still Knows'. It's to Barbeln's credit that it touches on so much but doesn’t feel like he’s trying to pull the rug out from under it all. The label, Tears of Joy, calls the record abstract but this is an intensely coherent and serious record from Snake: "searching for the tomb," as he sings on, yep, 'Tomb'. Limited to 110 copies worldwide and packaged in minimal private press manner with two card inserts and 18-page photocopied booklet. Good luck getting this anywhere else this side of the pond. We're guarding our personal copies tightly.
***Orders placed on or after the 28th of July will ship from the 3rd of August.