Single Review: Belladonna by 10 Lb Snail
Punchy rhythms and evocative songwriting captures the ear of anyone who listens to the single “Belladonna,” released on January 22nd by a fledgling local outfit known as 10 Lb Snail.
Originally known as Belladonna, the group began playing in December 2019 at house venues in the VCU area and immediately impressed, earning a show at The Camel this past January. Veterans of the scene will recognize drummer Josh Ackerley and bassist Yusuf Goulmamine, from the established group Line-In, laying down their comfortable grooves for frontman Holden Wilson’s songs.
Crunchy power chords and riffs welcome the listener without much argument, but soon the guitar and bass drops out for a scene change. The drums churn onward, and the guitar rejoins with warping pitch bends into a short solo, only alluding to deep musical possibilities. With the chorus, one of the most unique sounds of the snail is revealed: Crunchy chords and punchy rhythms become the ground for gentle, crooning vocals, almost whispered, carried through spacious reverberation. The contrast is inviting for anyone who favors a clear-headed rock and roll experience, a sound full of enthusiasm and consideration.
The bridge introduces new harmonic territory into the song, hinting at a musical imagination that lies far beyond a three-piece rock band. Nonetheless, bass exploration and consistently pulsing drums match the expansion and leave you yearning for more. The bridge draws to a close and a final chorus, before the long-awaited guitar solo. Suddenly, the guitar takes on a whole new character, shredding and bending and grinding as the drums and bass let loose in turn. You get the sensation that Josh and Yusuf look at each other and smile as Holden explores several tangentially related realms of guitar virtuosity with ease. The solo quickly (too soon!) draws to a close and the primary theme is repeated briefly before finishing with a bang.
This short introduction to the musical world of 10 Lb Snail leaves one curious to hear what else the group has to say. Fortunately, there are whispers that the snail is working on an album in the studio with John Degarmo of Plastic Nancy, leaving anyone who listens to “Belladonna” with eager anticipation.
“Belladonna” is available to stream and purchase now on all platforms via this link.