Entertainment

The Snails breaking new ground

Friday, December 06, 2013    

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This is the seventh in an eight-part series on reggae bands from around the world.

The Snails are a five-piece band out of Pennsylvania whose sound is heavily inspired by British band The Clash, as well as ska and rock steady.

According to Todd Fausnacht, vocalist and lead guitar for the three-year-old band, The Clash's unique spin on Jamaican music proved reggae has no boundaries.

"I realised that The Clash were putting their spin on reggae. I traced their influences and found the Maytals, Derrick Morgan and Alton Ellis. They studied the Upsetters (producer Lee Perry's house band)," Fausnacht told Splash.

The Snails are based in Philadelphia, a city with deep soul roots. Fausnacht says the City of Brotherly Love is not as receptive to reggae.

"Challenges are definitely there, this music isn't really popular in Philadelphia. We're doing our best to break the ice," he said.

The other members of The Snails are drum and bass twins Josh and Ben Parry, Kyle Williams on organ, and guitarist Tim Hildebrandt.

They have one album to date: From Kingston To Memphis which was released in August, 2011. Their latest recordings include the seven-inch singles Call on Me and Urban Booty (featuring King Django) and Ska Is Dead, which was done with The Pilfers.

The quintet are in the production stages of their second album. Although they have never played outside the United States, Fausnacht says the band is not short on gigs.

"We are no strangers to the van. We're always gigging different places in the United States."

This month will see The Snails hitting the road for shows in the Midwest. In January, they head to Florida for another round of dates.

— Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

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