Two Snakes — Cut Them Down 

Two Snakes call its brand of music meat-and-potatoes rock, but that’s underselling it. Humble, yes, but there’s a lot more going on here, and it’s a joy to listen to hard rock that brings in equal parts intellect and aggression.

Lead track “Alleys” zips to a start, boasting a burly guitar hook and bass riff pairing that breaks down like more straight-ahead hardcore tracks. The more menacing “Iron Sights” follows, recalling punk heavyweights Converge and Jawbreaker.

“Three Years” is an interesting one, the heaviest offering on the album, but built like a seriously amped-up Sonic Youth track. “Sabre Rattle” brings things to a nice, loud end in a distorted one-minute burst.

In spite of the substantial amount of testosterone and aggression that went into Cut Them Down, there’s an obvious hook to sink your teeth into with each track, much in the way that Deftones or At the Drive-In craft their heavy but accessible work.

It’s a metal album that serves both diehards and casual fans well, more thought-out and labored over than the bullish band might be willing to admit. Cut Them Down is available as a free download at twosnakes.bandcamp.com. —Joshua Boydston

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Joshua Boydston

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