Album Review: Rocket Science – Snake

13 August 2019 | 8:45 am | Mac McNaughton

"Where is the poppish wit and playfulness spotlighted on early singles 'Burn In Hell' and 'One Robot'?"

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Melbourne four-piece Rocket Science emerged on the cusp of the millennium with an intoxicating, nose-stinging hotchpotch of rock’s psych, blues and garage plumes but big league success somehow evaded them, 2002’s excellent Being Followed representing their sole Hottest 100 placing (an understated #91). A new, fifth album after over a decade-long hiatus is a delicious prospect, offering hope of credit being finally and duly delivered.

Sadly, that promise struggles to punch through, because the fine line between a gloriously ramshackled genre pastiche and a smartly executed return lies just a few feet away from where Snake eventually lands. Where is the poppish wit and playfulness spotlighted on early singles Burn In Hell and One Robot? If Roman Tucker is delivering wicked observations with a tongue firmly in his cheek, his lyrics too often get lost among intentionally unpolished production.

The instrumental wig-outs prove to be where it’s really at for Rocket Science in 2019. Scorpio’s Gamble prowls through sinister radio waves, then a few tracks later, Scorpio’s Dilemma takes delight in devouring its prey, and one is left hungry for much more of this kind of gothic drama.