Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Snarks "Night at Crystal Beach" EP self released

When did indie rock becomes a classic sound? I know it's been a while since the '90s now but can you really call that rock jangle a style that ever really went away? It's all I'm hearing in this release from the Fort Wayne, IN band, The Snarks. Maybe it's that combination of just about everything that came before it played through a guitar or two, bass and drums. Maybe it's doing away with trendy instrumentation, obsessed with progress and the future and just staying focused on what you love.

On A-Side's "Circles" these guys blast into a thick indie sound with Kendra Johnson delivering her vocal against the band's harmony, talking her verses while they match her frantic subconscious energy in this track about being stuck in one place. Things are loose and loud and this is a rock sound expanded on with a lot of DIY ingredients and clever changes. A Pixies approach to songwriting of off kilter riffs and leaning on unexpected epic moments with all the energy that a debut recording should have. Recording it like there's never going to be anything else. "Fever Shakes" takes a heavy sounding english riff to solidly create another foundation for Kendra who's popping in the screen less mic with a sort of loose yelp bluesy John Spencer, Sleater Kinney style. Maybe it's all this talk about this fever and working herself up to an explosion but the rest of the sound takes a cue from that constant tension and tries almost unsuccessfuly for a release every chorus or so.

B-Side's "Suntanning Bitches" goes right for the stutter, crazy timing guitar with some kind of regular beat back there somewhere but these jabs are splattered around like a Jackson Pollack. Kendra wrangles the whole thing like Kim Gordon on this one with her tough spoken word delivery. Makes sense in this track about the hazy summertime. Nothing like when they drop the whole post punk scene for toms and a five part reverb harmony singing the title of the track. "Human Sacrifice" starts out like you'd think it should; with a surfy Sabbath detuned riff and a lot of devil solos. The riffs soon hardcore this up and now I'm stuck on a late '90s Kim Gordon side project with a Black Flag sound, or even just the harder Sonic Youth stuff which is a perfect reference now that I'm thinking about it. One of those bands that consistently and subtly (or not so) innovates continuously not because they have to please fans or a record selling label. Still pissed those guys are gone but maybe they've been sacrificed to The Snarks.

Pick this one up from The Snarks direct.

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