Rattlesnake Leaves You Guessing


Levi Manchak


Zane Roush, Head Writer

The Strumbella’s, a sextuplet of small town Canadian indie rockers, released their most recent album, Rattlesnake. Like the animal it is named for, the album is smooth and beautiful, but with a bite and a rattling beat. The new album is similar to their previous three, alternating songs featuring high energy electric guitars and fiddle tunes with wholesome vocals and acoustic guitar. This mix offers a wide range of emotion, a staple of The Strumbella’s. Despite the similarity to previous albums, the nine new tracks have a bold, fresh feel, introducing new ideas and themes.

The band released, “Salvation,” in late 2018, giving fans a taste of their soon-to-come album. The song features upbeat percussion and base lines, and melodies that build on the free-spirited lyrics. With lyrics like, “I like to dance under street lamps/ And walk upon the clouds” and “cause this life is easier in dreams,” you can easily be caught up in thoughts of cruising down the California coast, stopping frequently to dance on a beach or roadside vista. Along with this, the main theme of the song is, as the title says, salvation and redemption, maybe telling the listener to find and accept a sense of self worth.

The Strumbella’s continue with a similar sound through several more songs until the fifth song on the album, “We All Need Someone.” Like most of The Strumbella’s songs, it starts off with vocals and acoustic guitar followed by a great crescendo as the chorus comes in featuring background choral melodies and strong beats, and finally returns to the vocals and acoustic sound during bridges. The chorus gives a strong sense of weighty reassurance through the instrumentation alone. The lyrics of the chorus create a lighter, happier note, with lines like, “We all need someone to love and to hold/ We all need shelter to keep us from the cold/ We all need laughter when life gets hard/ We all need someone to love us for who we are.”

The album continues to see shifting emotions until the final track, “All My Life” which seems to sum up the emotion of the album. With the familiar upbeat melodies and chorus, the song highlights the ambiguous lyrics found throughout the album. The chorus, “All my life I’ll be yours” is juxtaposed with a cautious questioning in the bridge, “Oh, would you walk through the street? Will you look out for me?” Even the intro to this song has juxtapositions between love and bitterness. “You put the snake under my bed/ You killed my spirit, now my spirit is dead/ You set the rocket off in my heart/ You put the daisies over top of my scars.” With lines like these, the readers are left uncertain to the real meaning of the song.

With frequently shifting emotion, Rattlesnake can be hard to get a read on, but the overall feel of the album is one of reassurance, of love, and reminiscence. This album is for anyone who likes a dose of melancholy with their happy, who likes some bitter with their beauty. Outside of emotions, the album has a very good indie rock sound, yet it still carries a vibe unique to The Strumbella’s. I would recommend it to anyone interested in light indie rock or strong, foot-tapping beats. As a whole, The Strumbella’s have returned with a very good new album that is sure to please.

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