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Crawling King Snake’s latest release ‘Like A Slave’ is a stripped down effort that focuses on a handful of quality elements. The track starts with a deep down piano bass line, the kind that evokes the tense moment in an old spy movie. It’s hit hard enough to offer percussion and carries the majority of the song along with few a stripped down drum loops. It will come as no surprise that the vocals do most of the heavy lifting in this case though.
Vocalist George van der Spuy offers up a capably burdened performance. Seeing as how the song dwells on the oppressive slog of a dead-end job it’s a perfect fit with the degraded nature of distorted vocal effects.. The main lyrical theme works on principle of repetition with the song building slowly, “Gotta pay the bills cause life ain’t free/ Oh baby please won’t you come and set me free?” It’s heavy stuff but the stylish delivery ensures that the journey is by no means depressing.
As a project, this is a foray into production more than live performance. While its creator’s influences are still obvious in the old-school rock and blues feel of the material, it’s also an outlet for new territory that a traditional band setup would not allow. To that end, ‘Like A Slave’ features some of Crawling King Snake’s most adventurous additions to his sonic palette yet. In the bridge there’s a stuttering synthesizer that’s undoubtedly more electronic than organic, proof that van der Spuy is still very much open to ideas. As the project develops it will be interesting to see how this balance between elements evolves.
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Listen to “Like A Slave” below on Soundcloud.