After digesting the news this morning, Snake Hymns seemed like a natural choice to ruminate on those feelings that things probably aren't getting better. These are desolate soundscapes full of surging delayed guitars, forlorn and windswept washes of drone that drift like worried fire through an empty prairie and a sense of unease that sits on these tracks like a pregnant carrier jet. Full of decaying magnetic tape that sputter out and fall apart in the span of a song (the artifact killing the music), distant guitar lines seeping up from the basement and swooping, carrion saxophones, Snake Hymns also employs bright, technical acoustic guitar twinning on "Greek Lightning" that are reminiscent of Columbia, MO trio Nevada Greene. But left to its own devices, this is the kind of music that we face down in the light of bright, florescent introspection. It carries enough weight and enough space to tie you to this plane, and sheer and shimmering enough to provide a reflective surface to stare yourself down. Snake Hymns, however, after informing you that this is real life - that this is serious - has enough silver around its edges to offer a glimpse of an escape route. "Awake, Awake, Awake" is a response back. A simple three-note melody, a chord played on an organ and then some impossibly light and shimmering electronic guitar descending from on high with healing in its wings. This is music that should accompany every news segment on every channel. Enough to keep us from freaking out, pensive enough to inspire introspection and wearied, measured responses to the question, "will we ever stop tearing ourselves apart?". Phew. Monday mornings are rough. Snake Hymns make it bearable. I can honestly say this is one of the best things I've heard all year.