I usually like to have some Kenny or Dolly playing on the turntable in the background as I start writing a review. It gives me the inspiration I need. NOT, but now that I have your attention I must point out that the opening track to this album comes blazing off the starting line at full speed. It’s a skull crushing track and the epic start of an album that brings back that late 80s hardcore punk vibe, and although I didn’t experience that era live, the videos and stories people tell bring it to life. Let’s start the review with talking about the voice behind the rambunctiousness.
Wiley’s vocal styling at the start of the first track reminds me of jello Biafra, but only for a moment. That quickly changes as he hurls his particular brand of ruff and tough raspy vocals for the next minute and a half.
This album spans 11 songs, and one is a filler track and it clocks in at a whopping 15 minutes. That’s punk rock the way it’s meant to be heard. it’s in your face, loud and could cause the guy in the car next to you to start moshing along. Wiley’s vocal assault has finally in my opinion come full circle. He has found his rhythm and his pace and with the help of a new lineup, the songs sound finely tuned.
The unique part about this album is that the first half was recorded with an old lineup, other than the mainstay players of Bob on guitar and Wiley on the mic. Songs 1 to 5 seamlessly transition into song 6 and the rest of the album. I personally think the songs flow perfect considering the newest lineup recorded the last half of the album.
The one song that stands out to me on the first half of the album is song 5, titled resistance 87 which is a reference to the new York City unity movement of the late 80s. The song also takes a drastic turn during the chorus when Wiley goes full on rudeboy style singing the words spirit of 69 over a reggae tinged guitar Melody. 1969 was the year when an emergence of fashion and music was being discovered and it radically transformed the musical landscape of England. This reggae chorus could stand it’s ground among the other major players of the 70s punk rock movement. The clash, the specials and even modern reggae/ street punk rough and tumblers rancid come to mind when hearing this song. It’s a short but sweet detour from the overall rhythm of the album but I loved it. it’s my favorite track so far.
The topics on the album follow suit with the previous albums with one track touching on police corruption in Chicago. Also unity and Harmony and of course PMA remain a theme. Positive mental attitude for those who may be wondering.
The other standout track to me is Wesley Willis. This song brings on board Omar bulldog Higgins, a big man with an even bigger heart who was making a difference in the Memphis punk scene with his band Negro terror. He has sadly passed, but his voice will live on in this track. His vocal delivery is tough and his voice is raspy and deep and it fits perfect on this banger of a track. Look up Wesley Willis since this song is a homage to him. He was a unique character in Chicago who was a musician and was also schizophrenic. He sadly passed years ago but left an impression on many in the music scene of Chicago. One impression he left was on the forehead of someone he first met, since he liked to head butt them upon first meeting. That’s punk rock right there.
Lastly the title of the album, Snake that ate it’s own tale is very appropriate. We as the listener are witnessing a rebirth and a renewal within the band. Also as is with life, death must always follow and then the cycle repeats itself. But do not fear, because 2mm has emerged once again victorious and reborn. Take a listen and you’ll hear what I mean. it’s a short but undeniably sweet 15 minute punk rock journey.
As I’m spinning the vinyl now, it has most likely awaken the neighbors. So give it a listen and turn it up to 11.
This album easily gets 5 stars.