[17 April 2007]
Kevin Jones, the lead singer of the Snake the Cross the Crown, opens his band’s latest album, Cotton Teeth, by singing, “I want to live on a stage / I want to play the guitar / and I want to get paid.” Whether he’s succeeding on the last count is his business, but he definitely accomplishes the former tasks well. Jones and his heavy-touring bandmates play well-executed, relaxed indie folk-rock. Sometimes, in fact, they’re almost too relaxed. Jones phrases his melodies with sleepy indifference, and near the end of the album, listeners might find themselves with a strong desire to shake the singer awake. The band writes catchy melodies but not great songs. Both the song structures and the arrangements on the album could use more variety. The Snake The Cross The Crown is a talented group, but Cotton Teeth just doesn’t have the musical depth it needs to compete in an oversaturated indie market.