If you were born in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s there is a decent chance that you were into indie rock bands like Pavement, Guided by Voices and The Pixies. If you yearn for more of that type of indie rock you will want to check out the recent release Grows Up by Snow What. The songs on this album in all honesty don’t need much explanation as they rarely deviate from the basic structure they introduce. You have a distorted guitar that thrashes away at power chords, a bass that follows the root notes of the guitar and respectable drum work. The vocalist Pat Kelley even has the slacker I couldn’t care less vocal style that Stephen Malkmus made popular all those years ago.
The songs on Grows Up are essentially pop covered in early ‘90s indie rock gloss. At their best they invoke a vocal melody that will get stuck in your head. The twelve songs on this album end up bleeding into each other. Upon first listen I felt like I was hearing the same basic song over and over again but some separation starts to occur with additional spins.
There were some notable songs but no songs that are clear highlights. If you like one song on this album you will be inclined to like them all and if it’s not your cup of tea then you're out of luck. In a lot of way it reminded me of a Guided By Voices album in that is was a steady stream of solid songs vacant of any lulls or highs.
Indie rock in the early ‘90s didn’t take itself too seriously and neither do Snow What. They have song titles such as “Private Parking for St. John's Lutheran Church” and “At the Intersection of Penny Lane and Desolation Row.” The lyrics are full of non-sequiturs, metaphors and ambiguities. The lyrical content feels just as loose as their playing, which is a good thing in my opinion.
Snow What at this point is essentially a genre band. They aren’t bringing anything new to the table as far as musical innovation but they can write a tune and also make you feel a certain sense of nostalgia (I popped in Slanted and Enchanted after listening to this record). The point is that every band doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel; sometimes you just want to hear a song.
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