Bring on the Snakes

Crooked Fingers

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WRM103 | Release Date January 1, 2003

from Bring on the Snakes is a continuation of a sound that is once again not the product of years spent on the indie-rock carousel, but of years spent absorbing great and gritty songsmiths, from Hank the first and the Man in Black to Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, and Bruce Springsteen. Like those greats, Bachmann is a singer-songwriter, but not a gentle troubadour strumming his lute for the ladies; his 200-cigarette throat and off-center lyrics will (hopefully) prevent anyone from using the word "folk" to describe Crooked Fingers. That's not to say that Bring on the Snakes is without its truly gentle moments, as Bachmann expertly utilizes his nylon-stringed acoustic - it's just that the gentleness is constantly at odds with near-resignation. The result is songs like "Devil's Train" and the bewitchingly straight-forward "Surrender is Treason," whose sublime sounds are juxtaposed with the beautiful pall cast by their lyrics. These songs, then, bear the most obvious mark of greatness: they exist out of time, are indeed timeless.

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