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Threading together occasionally disparate bits of 60s rock, garage, early punk, roots/bluegrass, Stax soul, and Southern gospel, Toronto's Deadly Snakes have obviously spent the last few years scrounging around for more than just a ballsy album title. The band's classics-bin pinching has led to some magnificent ends: on Ode to Joy, the Snakes' third release, they've broken down and reassembled a century's worth of musical output, and miraculously, emerged with something that sounds entirely, heartbreakingly relevant.
With all its wailing horns, weed-tinged organs, slammed guitars and throwdown vocals, Ode to Joy is, in a lot of ways, exactly what makes the 21st century such a potentially great time for rock music. It's a record that confirms, without getting excessively contemplative or buzzkill-cerebral, that synthesizing all the tunes and styles contemporary artists have at their disposal can actually be an inspired endeavor-- especially when you incorporate a hearty shot of ingenuity and some kicky Canuck spunk. Still, influence/inspiration theories aside, it would be unfair not to acknowledge that there's a little bit of love buried in here, too.