Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Album Review: "Present Day Plague" by S.N.A.F.U.

In the early 1970s there was an R&B and funk rock band of very minor renown called Snafu.  This is not your father’s Snafu.  The present day S.N.A.F.U. and their latest release Present Day Plague are a violent trip through a post-apocalyptic landscape of human decadence.

I am not sure there has ever been a band to so seamlessly merge the hardcore punk sounds of Napalm Death with the thrash mastery of Slayer as S.N.A.F.U has done here.  The comparison to Napalm Death is obvious. The songs are each a short, explosive bludgeoning of charged anger.  Yet the lead breaks and vocal cadence called to mind Reign In Blood era Slayer.   

There are moments when Present Day Plague settles into methodic crunchy riffs of doom, but they are short lived before inevitably searing into rapid fire thrash riffs reminiscent of Metallica's Kill ‘Em All played at double time. 

Especially notable is the bass line, which is forceful and distinct throughout.  It stands out in the mix and sounded like a unique and powerful style of thrash slap bass. 
S.N.A.F.U. throwing down at one of their infamous live shows.
The vocals bark lyrical themes of imprisonment and release.   The lyricist is striving to break free of the shackles of humanity on a forsaken world. Each song is an individual rant on a concept album dedicated to rage.  The songs follow an apocalyptic narrative tied together by a few spoken word tracks.
S.N.A.F.U. is from Detroit and first and foremost a live band.  Although I have not seen them myself, I am told their performance is as intense as the songs on Present Day Plague.  Their fans will be happy a physical album is now available after an extended period when these songs were only available digitally or blaring from a stage somewhere.  It is only natural an album which takes so much inspiration from the anger fueled sounds of the 80s is being released on both vinyl and cassette. 
If you stumbled onto this album hoping to hear an English band playing their groovy 1975 album “All Funked Up”, congratulations on the unintentional upgrade to something much more intense and rewarding.  May all your future accidents be as brutally happy. 

Release: September 2, 2016
Genre: Hardcore Punk, Thrash, Death Metal
Label: Self Released

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