Snailhead’s Sophomore release takes the title and the tracklist from a S&M movie from the seventies and it’s chapter titles and generates an mind-boggling 12 minute 39 second uptempo rock album in only the style that Snailhead would produce. Each tracks vocals build off of one another and focus in around the lyrics suggesting the title. This album has a focus on a nice light and popish melodies but with dark progressive rock undertones that I’ve only heard on a few British bands before, who generally use synth heavy backings for the vocals, and the drums leading every other part. Snailhead also does a great job at working with other unnamed artist, such as a local underground rapper and a handful of other great backing vocalists and friends. The band that stands out being the most similar to what I have heard in this album and just the style would be like Franz Ferdinand but with a harder rock sound with and a much better vocalist.
False Starts – A driving rock track with Snailhead leading the vox and the instrumentals. With the vocals shouting at the softer vocals blending perfectly together. A 52 second track that I can keep playing back to back and still hear new parts to it, this is one track that Snailhead should really work on making a full length track, as I feel that it should loop like 10 times at least. The guitar melody is really catchy rift, and the drums leave me wanting more of it in there but it’s just enough that it’s not drowning out any other part.
In the Bathroom – This track stood out as a great example of Snailhead with doubling and tripling the harsh vocals, with several friend also helping out. A great track on the slower portion of the album, it truly sounds like a Holywood ending scene track which is fitting for the second to last track on the album. It’s main melody would work for any “congrats you win” video game scene. This track is overloaded with detuned instrumentals in a good way.
To be honest this was a challenging album to review, as there was not a lot of content to it, and each track left me hanging as though I was wondering what is going to come next, in the same sense of having a track with no bridge or no breakout section, as each track was the breakout as an entirety which gave this album a great new concept, but it also feels incomplete resulting in the lowered score.
Synth Rock mostly, with a post-punk feel – specially from the tone and style of the vocals. Most of this stuff just screams 80’s influence, not only from post-punk, like the sort of innocence in the use of synths to make up pretty danceable tracks, probably a footprint of the “snescore” they used to categorize their sound on bandcamp.
It’s not all like that though. The 80’s feel, this time leaning towards serious Bono on serious U2 moments, is there in the first part of “A Place to Hide”, for example. This track comes up in the album in just the perfect moment, just after the first three tracks which aim to be hits – and with a pretty good aim. The first track on this is so catchy, vibrant, feel good, danceable, I can’t figure out why this isn’t on MTV or at least making people dance somewhere. If you are just here for the ride, seriously go listen at least to that first track, it’s golden, and A Place to Hide would be the perfect, “serious moment now” second single.
I wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing fillers at this point, but even though the immediate satisfaction of the radio-ready first track is still in some sense the best moment of the album, the album doesn’t go down in breath or energy. But they do allow themselves a cool, always-changing instrumental track , “Adam”, which is really enjoyable and samples Final Fantasy 6. The second part of “A Place to Hide” also comes up, but it doesn’t have the same feel as the first part.
Great stuff, first track is a potential hit, I hope these guys the best of luck with this stuff.
I don’t have much to say about this. The two first songs sound a lot like the Arctic Monkeys’ first album. The third, a little bit less. The fourth is already something different. The following track is an instrumental which is actually the most interesting track until then. The final track is the best and the one that sounds less like the Arctic Monkeys – the similarity between the singers’ voices never quite goes away, but the music does make a dramatic turn. Trying to be less specific, the whole thing sounds like Post-Punk, but starting from Arctic Monkeys and going all the way back to the early 80’s.
So this album could be called something like “rapidly emerging from overwhelming influences”. The way it stands now, it’s just upside down: the album get’s better as it approaches the end. All I have to say about the first tracks is that they are bass-driven in a cool way, but uninteresting – doesn’t make me want to revisit the tracks. After 5 or so listens though, I have become a little bit fonded to them, like I could listen to bonus tracks from “Whatever people say I am, that I’m not” that I had never heard of.
So yeah, I actually feel like the real album is the two last tracks. The instrumental is an ambient messy noisy track, which later gains a bit of a beat, seemingly electronic, but which is mostly (laid-back) guitar driven. I like it specially because it comes as a surprise in the progression of the album, but also because it’s just plain cool to see that in this track this guy just lets it go and does whatever he wants, with nice sort of relaxing results. At some point it becomes more straightforward and pretty and even though it comes out of the blue, it also feels logic and natural. It feels detached fromthe album, but fitting nicely there at the same time.
The last track itself has a nice mysterious, dramatic vibe in the main riff. The guitar interplay has taken the place of the bass, even though at some points the guitar are off and you get that bass feel back. It’s the best of both worlds I guess. I can’t say this is golden, an unrecognized classic or anything, but for once it’s nice to see a dude – apparently this one guy played everything – grow by the leaps in an album, it’s the kind of thing you don’t get in a normal mainstream release because everything is tightly planned to focus on what works, maybe it get’s less human. I like this album, it’s a human being’s best effort at making music and that is interesting.
These guys go for a bit of 90’s shoegaze psychodelic feel, slowly building up to punk (specially vocals) when appropriate. The recording is a bit sloppy, but I can’t say it’s done in an uncool or unpleasant way and that specially because it fits very well with the vocals, which have a “don’t give a fuck enough to get into a singing voice” feel. The vocals keep the tracks in it’s place, but I’d say the most interesting moments are the insane jamming in the instrumentals parts, which don’t really go anywhere but kind of wobble around a strange feeling, like being too drunk to walk or something like it. Really sloppy, wobbly guitar tones throughout and I’d say they work well. The drumming is competent and the bass is interesting – specially during the aforementioned instrumental parts. The lyrics are good enough not to bother with, which is what we can normally expect from rock n roll anyway. They convey well the feeling of the overall sound, being sincere, emotional and modern.
Go on and listen to this while hanging out with friends, it’s very atmospheric and always changing, the songs are very different from one another, while having a distinct similar feel. Good stuff.
The musical aspect to this is really nice. It has a good atmosphere, nice changes throughout, cool different sounds. I’ll tell you what’s the problem with it: the vocals are annoying and the album art is dreadful. With a bit of patience, you get used to the vocals though and they carry good feeling and the musical ideas behind the awful voices fit well into the music and give it a post-punk feeling with a bit of Interpol.
I see the different singing is a way of trying to be innovative, not playing safe etc. I don’t think it works. I like the music and I feel it deserves more competent singing. A bit of atonal singing with weird pitches might even work well in some cases (see Joanna Newsom, Talking Heads, shit, even Dylan), but this is just ridiculous.
There’s quite a bit of “dark psychedelic/going insane with synths” to keep it always interesting and the dancing beat brings a nice upbeat feeling. I do believe people could dance to this if they wanted to… It wouldn’t be much of a karaoke hit though.
That’s all. In general, don’t let the singing turn you away, this is some good stuff if you give it a chance.