I hadn't been to a show in over a year, and as far as the local scene goes; I didn't know anyone anymore. I had been in a rough spot for a minute so when my friend Andy called and asked if i wanted to go watch his brother's band, I accepted without hesitation. At that point, I would have went to see a Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine tribute band. When we got there, I met the four individuals who make up The Snipped: Mike Wax, Jeffrey Reid, Justin Burket, and their new bass player, Frank Conrad. I wasn't expecting much out of a local show, because I had no idea what the local scene had to offer. After that night though, my life would change dramatically. I went to the next six Snipped shows in a row. They had one release out 2018 called #dadcore and their latest album came out at the beginning of 2022. About a month before it's January release, Justin sent me the rough copy of the album to check out. I didn't listen to anything but, what would be called, Tales From the Workbench for the next month.
Now, before i jump into some of the tracks, I wanna note some big differences from #dadcore to Tales. First, new bass player, Frank, adds backing vocals and a stage presence you couldn't buy. Also lead guitarist, Jeff, is turned up in this second offering, so you can hear his pulverizing solos and leads. Singer, Wax's, voice and overall sound is way more clear and defined and Justin. Well, Justin does his thing, which is super tight fills and rolls that give you a Bill Stevenson kinda feel.
Tales From the Workbench opens with the song, "Goddamn Shame", which lets you know from the get go that #dadcore is way different than lame dad rock. From the opening note, everything is spot on in this one and sets the tone for the entire 10 track album. It's also what The Snipped usually open their shows with to this day.
I'm not gonna break down every track, but Tales offers some new stuff and a few demos that The Snipped released during 2020. Some of these were re-recorded, however, to include Frank's backing vocals and killer bass licks. There are new recordings of “The Mine" (Wax's tribute to his dad), "Into the Red", and "Distant." The latter was released on a limited split 7 inch the year before featuring The Snipped and Railroad City Murder Machines.
We also get new songs like "Screens" (which has nothing to do with screen printing, as Wax would tell me), "Rock the Boat", "No Direction", "Be That Way", and "Back in the Day" to end the album. Also in the mix is a killer cover of the Boss’s "Born to Run." All the songs are a high energy affair with Wax’s raspy, yet defined, vocals, and Reid’s powerhouse guitar leads. The overall production of Tales is stellar. Every song leaves you wanting more of The Snipped. Their sound comes from many inspirations, including Social D, Face to Face, Fat Wreck Chords sounds, and some 80’s Hair and Thrash Metal.
For me, Tales from the Workbench picks up right where #dadcore left off, except they did some vigorous training during the time between releases. The Snipped is, to this day, one of the tightest bands in the scene. The four of them deliver every time. I can honestly say I’ve never heard them play a bad show. I’m already looking forward to their next release, (which I hear is already being written), but even then I have a feeling this album won’t be leaving my rotation of music anytime soon.
All I can tell you is this bad boy delivers like Domino's pizza. Its in my Top 3 Albums of 2022. If its something you may have slept on, its time to wake the fuck up. To Infinity and Beyond the Pit.
Jimmy Minarchick is blog writer for Beyond the Pit. He's a wanna be musician who hosts 2 podcasts and runs his own merch company. He has never once had a good hair day.
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