Sex Snobs rose from the ashes of hardcore underground, yet they have proven to be a band worth getting to know — intimately.
Formed by former members of punk band Chud, Sex Snobs emerged when Alex Barnard and James Hammontree reunited for another project.
It’s difficult to place them into a single niche category, and they don’t want to be in one, either. It’s appropriate since one listen might provide you with a sense of ’90s-grunge nostalgia with a sprinkling of ’80s metal-punk. But with each repeat, you’ll discover softer layers and melodies normally absent from traditional punk bands.
“I feel like you can hear a lot of similarities between Sex Snobs and Chud,” Hammontree said. “But it’s definitely an entirely new project.”
Not wasting time after Chud disbanded, the duo recruited former Chud drummer Daniel Weaver to record a live demo at The Conservatory. Then, feeling the need for a change and a chance to grow as individuals, Hammontree and Barnard moved to San Francisco just a week after recording the demo in February 2013.
Hammontree worries that some people look at their departure as a jibe against the Oklahoma City music scene, but he insists that was not the case. Neither of them had really ventured beyond the state line, and that was an experience he believed would help them grow as musicians.
“[Oklahoma City]’s not a big cultural hub like San Francisco or Los Angeles,” he said. “So we wanted to get out and get involved in that.”
Barnard and Hammontree pro- cured drummer Nick Dunn shortly after arriving on the West Coast. They set up gigs and toured the Pacific, cities like Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and Olympia, Wash.
They had also heard that Jack Shirley was the go-to for recording. Shirley runs The Atomic Garden Recording Studio in Palo Alto, Calif. and has been involved with bands like Deafheaven and Botanist. Sex Snobs worked to get introductions, and their efforts resulted in the band’s EP, Lonely, recorded at The Atomic Garden in two days.
“We definitely got a lot of benefits,” Hammontree said, “playing more shows and people to care about your band. There’s so much going on, though, that you’re just another band in another dive, playing music.”
With that, Sex Snobs landed back in Oklahoma in February, sans drummer Nick Dunn. They reunited with former Chud member Billy Reid and have pushed on, playing gigs locally.
Hammontree believes there has been a definite change in the Oklahoma City music scene since their sabbatical.
“There’s a lot more crossover between genres and groups of people,” he said. “Now, the bands all kind of share, genres aside. Good, original music is what makes me excited.”