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"It's Important To Talk About These Things": Introducing Venomous Punks SNAYX

Monday, 12 February 2024 Written by Emma Wilkes

Photo: Bridie Cummings

SNAYX vocalist Charlie Herridge has just compared his band to another group. Take 10 guesses which one. Hell, take 100. You won’t get it. “We’re like the punk Vengaboys,” he proclaims. But witness the Brighton trio live and you might quickly agree with him. On-stage, they fizz with life, strutting with confidence and attitude that belies their relative youth as an outfit. They’re spitting venom, but they’re also here to party. They also happen to have a van nicknamed the Vengabus. “It’s got disco lights and everything,” Charlie adds. Of course it does.

At the outset, SNAYX existed for a while in name only. The band was started by Charlie and bassist Ollie Horner after their existing musical projects both started becoming stagnant, while drummer Lainey Loops was brought in later after the pair saw her play in Sheffield. 

Progress was slow to begin with, but only because they were already immersed in an abundant, vibrant music scene that they just couldn’t pull themselves away from. Every night, there was a show they just had to go to at the Green Door Store, the Hope & Ruin, the Albion or one of Brighton’s other venues, but it meant that when they did get going, they already had a community to lift them up. 

“As soon as we were ready to start gigging, we were instantly welcomed into the scene with open arms. It was just really exciting to be a part of,” Charlie says. “There’s this wave of punk music coming up, especially from the south coast, but everywhere at the minute is really exciting.”

It was their local peers Kid Kapichi, hailing from further down the coast in Hastings, who spurred them to action. They invited SNAYX to support them, pushing them to scramble together material at relatively short notice ready for the gig. It ended up going better than it should have, to the point that Kid Kapichi brought them out on tour across the UK last year, and they’ll be heading to Europe together in the spring. 

Lyrically speaking, SNAYX have a wide repertoire, but beneath it all is a snotty yet charismatic political streak. Their anger manifests as a sneer as much as a shout, with songs in their arsenal taking aim at government corruption on H.A.N.G (an acronym for ‘hold accountable nefarious governments’) and police brutality on Boys In Blue. “This scene has thrived off the unrest of the times, and the Tory oppression we’re seeing, but we want people to vent and have that release,” Charlie says.

Then again, their politicism is just one side of their artistry. “It’s important to talk about these things but people don’t want to be depressed by them — our real act of rebellion is to just have a good time and unleash that [anger] in a controlled space. It’s like IDLES say: joy [is] an act of resistance,” he adds.

Their story is continuing with their new EP ‘Better Days’, a short, sharp burst of energy that leans even further into the electronics-laden “party punk” style inspired by The Prodigy and Gorillaz that they’d been edging towards on previous releases. It’s also notably more introspective. 

“It’s very difficult to grow and develop when you’ve constantly got voices around you that are holding you back, like the people who ask what I do, I say, ‘I’m a musician’ and they go, ‘But what do you actually do?” explains Charlie. “Sink Or Swim, as well, is about being constantly compared to other people and all these expectations of what you should be. I find myself here in my late twenties and I’m considered by society to be a waste of space, just kicking around, not really contributing.” 

Nonetheless, their political slant still finds a way of cutting through. “Those pressures are coming from a government who, over lockdown, say that creative people need to retrain because it’s not a viable career,” Charlie says. “That’s the most insane thing I’ve ever heard. It contributes billions to the economy; that was such a narrow-minded comment.” 

Elsewhere, the tracks King and Concrete pull apart a government-enforced “worker bee mentality”. “They want you to just get your head down, work your nine-to-five, pay your taxes, don’t make a fuss, let them make the decisions,” Charlie says.

By rejecting the constraints of the 40-hour work week and the political structures enforcing it in favour of unstructured, uninhibited creativity, SNAYX are rebels by default. That, mixed with their party spirit, is a wicked combination, and that’s how they’re making resistance fun again.

SNAYX’s ‘Better Days’ EP is out now. 


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