Friday, March 21, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Snowbride / Scab Queen split

                Whenever I see split tapes (which I love by the way) I always wonder how the bands will match up.   Will they sound similar, yet different?   Will they be complete opposites of each other?  Will they sound identical so I think it’s really just the same band?  For Snowbride and Scab Queen the answer is that they are closely enough related that they could be friends, yet they aren’t as close as so you would believe they were the same band.

                Snowbride is a half male/half female duo and you can hear the vocals of both on different songs.   When I say “vocals” though, I mean mostly ooooh’s and aaaaaah’s, as there don’t really seem to particularly be any words uttered here in the sense that would require lyrics.   And I’m fine with that.

                There are steady drum beats, guitar loops and just an overall sense of ambience in a spatial way within these three songs that are all linked together in the same ways but are their own individual pieces still.   Through guitar flurries and static waves, the last of these songs is purely instrumental and I do thoroughly enjoy this side of the tape.

                Scab Queen are an all male duo which has absolutely no signs of vocals, unlike their counterparts on the first side.   Their particular blend of ambience is a bit closer to noise.   I actually wrote noisier in my notes, but it’s just a way of saying that it sounds more like that of noise than Snowbride as opposed to being louder or anything in that level.

                The music is a bit more haunting, more revealing, as there are howls and the overall weirdness of an Illegal Wiretaps album.    After a certain amount of windy distortion, we conclude this side with a bit of funk, which is a rather unexpected change of pace.

                I am hesitant to compare these two particular artists with two others, but they do have that sort of similarity where you can tell why they have a split, why they should be on the same label, tour together, etc.   Yet if you put one of these sides on without knowing which side it was, it’d be very easy after hearing it for a little bit to pick out whether it was Snowbride or Scab Queen.   That is one of the best qualities for two artists sharing a split to have and thus it makes this one that much the better.

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