Denver’s Snake Rattle Rattle Snake create music steeped in the darkness, perpetually dodging the sunny sheen of pop tendencies in favor of the shadows. Singer Hayley Helmericks, guitarist Doug Spencer, guitarist/keyboardist Wilson Helmericks, bassist Adam Shaffner and drummer Andrew Warner walk down that partly cloudy street, and the result is the band’s first full length album Sineater. Recently awarded a grant through the breakthrough IMTour program, SRRS is embarking on two national tours and releasing an album in late 2013.
With songs as seductively venomous as its name suggests, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake began in late 2008 when veterans of the Denver underground scene pursued a mutual interest in darkly atmospheric music with a grounding in pulsing rhythms.
Since its debut performance on Valentine’s Day 2009, the band has shared the stage with The Dead Weather, Black Angels, The Rapture, Devotchka, Pink Mountaintops, Wovenhand, and The Fresh and Onlys.
With severe yet ethereal guitars chiming over the top of tribal percussion, shot through with singer Hayley Helmericks’ caustic lyrics, Snake sounds like a vital combination of spooky surf band, haunted carnival rock and Siouxsie Sioux fronting a pre-synth-driven New Order. The sense of menace and haunted introspection ultimately transforms into the kind of catharsis born of vanquishing personal demons with a joyfully cinematic flair. One of this band’s secret weapons is the rhythmic structure created by drummer/percussionist Andrew Warner. The rich percussive textures allow the seething whirl of guitar interplay between Doug Spencer and Wilson Helmericks to ride on the waves of Adam Shaffner’s driving bass lines.
“If you were to stroll down Denver’s hip South Broadway drag, pop into one of the clothing boutiques or small concert venues, and ask around as to who is the best band in the city, it wouldn’t take long before you received Snake Rattle Rattle Snake as an answer,” says One Track Mind,in the premiere of the recent “Paperskin” remix.
A benchmark for a band that has already received several accolades, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake was recently chosen by a panel of music industry experts to be awarded a tour grant, the ground-breaking IMTour Program through WESTAF. After their debut full length Sineater (Oct 2011), the band gained national momentum with a Daytrotter session in 2011, also winning local awards for “Band of the Year” (303 Magazine and The Denver Post) and “Best Indie Rock Band” (Westword). In addition to playing the historic Red Rocks Ampitheatre and multiple SXSW appearances, the band returned from a West Coast tour in October with a stint in Idaho for Treeford Music Festival, where SRRS shared the stage with Of Montreal, Built to Spill, and more. Always an inspiringly compelling live act, and with the help of the IMTour Program, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake is poised to strike out of the insular Denver rock scene and into wider pastures in 2013.