Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cassette Review: snowstorm "snowstorm" (Monotone Tapes)

[$4 //]

I spent my entire life in Connecticut, moved away to Houston for eight years and when I came back, that first winter, I was met with a huge snowstorm.   Oddly enough, that was the year of Hurricane Sandy down in New Jersey as well, so we felt some of that here as well but not a lot.   It was just so surreal to have a hurricane and snowstorm so close together, and then later on in the winter the snow began getting to the point that you could shovel tunnels into it as it stood taller than some people.    So I guess you could say that knowing what a snowstorm brings will always be in my blood.   As a kid, it's missing school and going outside to play.   As I got older it became a source of comfort to be inside where it was warm when it was so cold and chaotic outside.    Yet, there was also something restless about it, where you begin to feel trapped inside and perhaps go a little stir crazy.

The music of snowstorm reflects all of that fairly well.   It's bedroom pop rock with some twee mixed in and, yes, you could imagine it being created while stuck inside because there is so much snow outside that you literally cannot go outside (Which has happened to me) and as such all you can do is make music.     This could just as easily be something you hear on the "Juno" soundtrack and though it is acoustic in nature I'm hesitant to call it "folk punk" so much as just to think of it as being some sort of great, lost emo band from the era of Drive-Thru Records was still good, only this is their sort of lost acoustic cassette.  (So rather than being your typical acoustic vibe this does resemble something more closely related to a band who is traditionally electric playing an acoustic set)

Parts of this are heavier on the strings and it can bring out a folk sort of quality as well.   It makes me think of Animal Flag, but there is also something very distinct about this that I just can't quite put my finger on (Though I said the same thing once about Animal Flag and now I'm using them as a basis of comparison)    Regardless of the age the songs were written at or the age you are when you are listening to it, there is that spark, that fight of teenage angst that you just easily relate to because either a) you are a teenager and thus filled with angst or b) have been a teenager and have thus gone through this before.  (If you are under the age of thirteen, what are you doing reading this?  No, I really want to know.  Email me please)

The last song is actually electric and it brings with it the sounds of Semisonic, The Bejamins, The Wrens, The Weakerthans and all of that lot.   I feel like this is just one of those pieces of music you're either going to love or hate but will hopefully love as much as I do for the honesty in it and the raw talent as well.   A line as simple as "I used to think I love you but I just hated myself" should win you over on principle alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment