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.
This has more of a pop feeling so I won’t say as much about it. “San Francisco”, the first teaser track released on soundcloud a few months ago is great and could be some kind of hit, if these guys get a bit lucky. There’s a videoclip for it now on their website, above.
So they have recently finished the actual EP, “Frantic”, which, starting August 8, they will sell on groopease (above). During these months when all I had was San Francisco, I listened to it every now and then and wondered if the rest of the EP would be as good. Unfortunately I don’t think so. San Francisco is the strongest track and makes the others feel like fillers. That’s mostly because, since they have quite a pop feel, it’s not really interesting musically to me.
I guess I would like this more if it was more intense, less professional radio-ready stuff, but that’s probably just me. I hope these guys get their lucky break.