“Don’t stop to think about what this is all about…” - One Shot
If there’s one thing the Millennial generation has gifted/saddled us with, it’s a bright yellow streak of hyper-sensitivity. In the young un’s relentless pursuit to create a vegan, gender-fluid, post-racial Utopia, they’ve pretty much outlawed unpopular opinion completely. If you’re under thirty, there’s a good chance that EVERYTHING is offensive to you. Just locking my caps right there will serve as a trigger that an old-world patriarchal oppressor is about to launch into some “mansplaining”.
These are frustrating times for rock’n’ rollers. I get it, we all need to push the culture forward, but all sides need to be represented. It’s cool that you’re right-on, but without knuckle-heads, how do you even know where you’re at? I’ll tell you what the kids need, man. They need Snatch. Back when they were running amuck in the mid 80’s, they just seemed like harmless idiots. And they still do, but they seem like harmless idiots with no filter, and that’s basically unheard of these days.
Let’s look at the evidence. The band is named after a vulgar euphemism for female genitalia. The title of their EP is a pornographic one-liner. Every song is an ode to an endless party. They didn’t care about offending anybody. I’m sure they were delighted if they did. In fact, I don’t think they cared about anything, except for booze and girls. They wore dirty white sneakers on the cover of their own record, for chrissakes. Snatch were some cavalier motherfuckers. They were also pretty endearingly terrible, but that was hard to tell in 1985.
I was a kid when this record came out, after all. All any of us knew back then was that their name was Snatch, which, when you’re 16 years old, is absolutely the perfect name for a rock n’ roll group, and that they sounded like a punk band trying their damnedest to sound like Van Halen. Vocalist Petey could not sing, and didn’t even try. Instead, he bellowed like a street punk, and the boys in the band backed him up in every gang-bang chorus. Kelly Sweet’s guitar was a Hollywood-style thunderchug, the tone snatched from Mick Mars, and the style vainly emulating the guitar-heroics of Eddie Van at every turn. The rhythm section — Marc Carmona on the too-busy bass and Sandi Foxx on cowbell-heavy drums — sounded like they were both probably crack musicians when they weren’t drunk, but they probably drank a lot in Snatch. Together, they were a beautiful cock rock disaster, the kinda band you might expect to see playing a high school gym, or maybe opening for a puppet show.
Snatch’s sole (far as I know) contribution to rock’n’ roll, the amazingly titled If the Party’s in Your Mouth…We’re Coming! was released by the boys themselves in ’85. It’s got four tracks, which is pretty much all you could possibly need from them. Wanna Hear It opens up with crazed snarls and an equally pissed-off sounding guitar. It’s cock rock, sure, but it’s mean cock rock, skull-smacking, ass-kicking, motherfucking Saturday night rock’n’roll. It is, without a doubt, the best thing Snatch ever did — which might not be saying much, since they only did four songs — but I would stack Wanna Hear It against any flash metal song of the era. I have no idea what the song is about, although I suspect it might be about killing your woman. At any rate, it’s a buncha yelling and insanely flashy guitars, and right before the mid-song riff-riot, Petey says “Face it, baby!” which is one of the best solo talk-ups ever. The Way She Walks is another punchy raunch n’ roller, in the Kiss-Sweet vein, ya know, catchy but tough. Not quite the wallop of Wanna Hear It, but pretty badass for a buncha dudes in pink leotards.
Starry Eyes opens up side two and begs the question: haven’t you dudes heard Too Fast For Love? The answer, of course, is a resounding yes, but to Snatch’s credit, they don’t rip Motley Crue off all that much on this one, besides stealing the song title. Nope, this Starry Eyes is more of an arena-glam-pop song, sorta Wrathchild meets Loverboy. I’m sure they’d cringe at the comparison to the red-leathered Canucks, but really, it’s not all that far away from Workin’ for the Weekend, just with dirtier sneakers. Closer One Shot, the obligatory “we rock!” anthem (“We got one shot/to the top/ain’t never gonna stop”, etc.) is a big ball of piss and thunder, with lotsa screaming and thumping drums and canned crowd noises and grinding cock rock guitars, and even tho it sounds pretty dated at this point, it was certainly state of the art Flash Metal, circa 1985.
1986, well, that was a different matter altogether. A band like Snatch wasn’t really meant to last past the one flashing moment in time when they were exactly what rock’n’roll was about, and, to their credit, they didn’t. After this EP made the rounds, the cats just split, man. I asked Sweet Pain main man Corky Gunn about them once, since he’s front and center on their back cover ‘thanks’ list, and although he had no idea what happened to them, he did remember his ‘ol pals Snatch. “They really wanted to be Van Halen, and the singer really thought he was David Lee Roth”, he said. “They were like a comedy act. When they played, they had these big banners that would unfurl at the end of their show that said “EAT CUNT”, and “BLOW ME”, and stuff like that. They were very hung up on sex. Everything with them was sex.” Which, of course, is what a band called Snatch ought be about.
Who knows where the Snatchers are now? Something tells me that they’re probably still on Long Island, that at least one of ‘em is a contractor, and that none of them, for even a second, ever thought of getting the band back together. And although the idea of these guys stuffing themselves back into their Snatch outfits at the age of 50 is pretty amusing, it is surely for the best. Still, If the Party’s… remains one of the most extravagantly flashy examples of Flash Metal Suicide ever, and, aside from the goddamn balloons and pink leg warmers and the fuckin’ sneakers, Snatch rocked, baby. And honestly, we could use a Snatch or two in this safe-as-milk era of non-confrontational rock music. I’m sure GG Allin has a few illegitimate kids coming of age at this point, hopefully they’ll form a couple bands and shake things up a little.
Oh, and one last thing – best last line in a thanks list, ever:
“And a very special thanks to all the virgins…for nuthin!”
I know, I’ve said it before, but I swear to God , I love rock’n’roll.
Next week: A cast of Nasties!