Can you trust the Snitches?

Scott Moodie is a nutjob, but then again so are the rest of the Snitches.


Their performance at the Liberty Lounge Thu., Sept. 18, though played to a small crowd, incited something of a riot at the front of the stage. The music was loud and rambunctious and the energy they played with was absolutely infectious, particularly that of Moodie and fellow vocalist and guitar player Mike Webber. Together they are the two kids no one ever wanted to babysit, who grew up and found a socially acceptable outlet for their hyperactivity.


But it’s Moodie’s quasi-epileptic dance moves that really make the show. Drunken karaoke rock stars everywhere envy him, he is truly living the dream.


Although relatively unknown in the rest of Canada, these native Montrealers have been perfecting the art of partying for almost 10 years. Legend has it, if you wanted to have a party in a Montreal penthouse in the early ’90s, you had to ensure the Snitches were available or else you would be better off forgetting it and going to the one they were playing at.


What seemed to be such an auspicious beginning for the band was followed by a period of total obscurity.


Flash forward to 2002 and the notorious party animals have reappeared on the Canadian music scene with their third album Star Witness and what Moodie, one of the band’s original members, describes as "an essentially different band."


"During the ’90s, we were experiencing a lot of financial difficulties that really put a strain on us as a band which led to several members leaving," says Moodie. "Our style of music really changed as we lost members."


The sound the band is now producing in clubs across the nation is very comparable to the garage rock of bands like the Vines and the Hives. On their recent single "Right Before My Eyes," the similarity to these other bands is so apparent it has led some critics to wonder if the Snitches are just riding the coattails of these other successful acts. Not surprisingly, Moodie has another point of view.


"I think it’s funny that we seem to be really riding the crest of the wave right now, because we have never followed musical trends," he says. "Back in the ’90s when songwriters were focussing on angst, we were the guys goofing around wearing flower pots on heads.


"We also wrote the songs for Star Witness back in 1998 and back then, record companies told us they wouldn’t be able to sell the album. They always look for niche markets and the problem with us was always that we never fit into any niche. We’ve never tried to be anything but ourselves, but now I guess our music does fit into a market and the record is selling."


Niche or not, with a new distribution deal at Universal, the Snitches getting enough exposure to bring something that is undeniably their own to revellers across the country: their show.


"Just playing your instruments at a show is like having sex and not using your hands," says Moodie the day before the performance. "Where’s the fun in that?"


You can’t argue with that logic.

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