Snowden: S/T (Independent, 2003)
Hailing from Atlanta Georgia, Snowden have released an incredible debut S/T EP. Drowning in sound and aggressive percussion, Snowden writes songs that have elements of The Cure, Jesus and the Mary Chain, and the Psychedelic Furs mixed with modern dream-pop and shoegaze influences. Fuzzed out guitars and keys playfully dance around Jordan Jeffares’ powerfully charismatic vocals. Not only is the musicianship great on this disc, but the lyrics are thoughtful and thought provoking.
Snowden’s S/T release begins with “Victim Card.” This song begins with a mid-tempo beat that has a “clapping” feel to it and really gets your feet moving, if you know what I mean. This song has strong political overtones, but I can’t quite make out which direction those political comments may go. Perhaps, Snowden is calling us to action instead of crying “victim” all the time. Jordan Jeffares’ vocals call the reader back to Jesus and the Mary Chain, The Psychedelic Furs, and Robert Smith of The Cure. This is a pretty straightforward pop song, but it has fuzzy guitar elements along with some interesting vocal levels to it. “Good News” begins with guitar ala The Cure during their Head on the Door era. This turns into jangly guitars full of reverb and chorus. Again, the vocals recall the greats of the 80’s. This song is infectious and really sucks the reader into this disc. This is a fast paced song with aggressive bass work, percussion and glittering guitars. An “A” type early style goth-rock song with slight mixes of modern indie-pop mixed in.
“Chin Up” begins with beautiful acoustic guitar work and the vocals are more akin to The Beatles or The Beach Boys. They are breathy and float over the acoustic guitar like a ghost floating over a cold, snowy day. It’s beautiful and listful. One thing I really do love about this band is their lyrics. They are strong, pointed, beautiful and yet somewhat mysterious. “Kill the Power” begins with fuzzed out, dissonant keys and then goes into bright guitars and a great groove with the percussion and bass. This track has the feel of every awesome, driving 80’s brit-pop band. There are points where everything drops out except a bit of fuzz, vocals, and percussion. The guitars and bass move in and out of the mix. This is the sort of song you drive down the street with your windows down and you stereo turned up to 10. “Chin Up” is followed by “Come Around”, which is more subtle and moody. The guitars are spacey and soaring with sparse percussion in places. The keys play a major role in the feel of this track. They really accent the sound and bring subtle nuances to the feel. There are “windy” drones laid under this track that really bring a shoegaze element to the disc. “Anybody Else” starts with soft piano. This is a primarily vocal with some beautiful, subtle guitar and key elements added. This track really showcases the charisma of Jordan.
I would say that this disc has all the right elements. There is creativity and all the right influences coming into the mix on Snowden’s S/T disc. I highly recommend you check them out!
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