Snuffed on Sight – Smoke


Stoner dudes playing metal is nothing new, but stoners playing brutal death metal (BDM) is rare. It might explain why Smoke is more enjoyable than your average slam record. Snuffed on Sight’s debut LP lasts for only fifteen minutes, which means these San Franciscan bong-lovers have no time to marvel at the formation of the stars like doe-eyed wasters. Scream Blast Repeat have limited interest in metal’s most formulaic and repetitive genre, but Snuffed on Sight might be the artist we need to change our perspective. Who’d have thought that a genre based on one breakdown riff in a Suffocation song from 1991 would be so widespread in 2023?

Of course, you can expect an excessive amount of inhumane mouth noises, repetitive down-chugging guitars, and high-tuned drum snares on this record. It does what it says on the tin foil. ‘Time 2 Dip’ is slam with a capital “S”, yet it’s grotesque enough to wake you from your daydream like the sight of a car crash at the side of the road. Seven Kane’s vocal transgressions are like a savage creature with no ability to phonate anything beyond predatory desires. The drummer and guitarist squabble for most of the song as if trying to disrupt the rhythmic intentions of the other.

Snuffed on Sight’s music is more sophisticated than it appears. ‘Slippin’ embraces the challenge to see how many riffs it can fit into two minutes and forty-one seconds. Brutal death metal is not famous for its complexity, but this track can rival Mr Bungle’s legendary demo from 1986. ‘DTD: Slumped’ collects cliches like Buffalo Bill collects moths, yet it still leaves you with a guilty smile on your face after an onslaught of bone-crunching guitar patterns and hi-fi drum movements. The mid-way interlude track, ‘(smoke break)’, reminds you that Korn’s brand of guitar-infused hip-hop can sound appealing in the right circumstances.

Brutal death metal has a surprising fascination with sci-fi themes in addition to the usual sexual violence and gore, but Snuffed on Sight seemed more concerned with avenging those that fucked them over. “Don’t get it twisted/ I’m the wrong one 2 fuck with/ Won’t tell ya twice/ Don’t get caught slippin/ Watch ur bitch-made ass get put on ice.” Of course, you can question if the cannibalistic throat salivations enunciate any of these words. It’s not obvious that they do. But who cares when you have the technical riff work of ‘Repeat Offender’ to keep you focused? Kendric DiStefano’s impatience on the drum stool only adds to the urgency.

Snuffed on Sight must hold their hands up and apologise for having fun. This is death metal, right? They end the album with a long succession of chugga-chugga breakdowns on the title track and assume the listener will enjoy it. And you should. Slam can sometimes surprise you – this is one of the rare triumphs of the genre.

JVB


Verdict


Release Date: 07/07/2023

Record Label: Maggot Stomp & Creator Destructor Records

Standout tracks: Time 2 Dip, Slippin, Repeat Offender

Suggested Further Listening: Carnal Abhorrence – The Crowned Apocalypse (2020), Stillbirth – Strain of Gods EP (2021), Colpocleisis – Elegant Degradation (2023)