If you haven’t heard of Snowmine, and odds are that you haven’t, sadly, then let’s just say that you’ll probably fall in love with listening to Laminate Pet Animal. It’s got references to all sorts of sub-genres beneath the indie umbrella, with each demonstrating the unique craftsmanship of this Brooklyn group. This record has the band poised to start their introduction to the masses.
“Beast in Air, Beast in Water” has a really ornate approach, using a dark percussive skeleton to kick off the entire affair, met with ghostly group vocals. As the vocals quicken, your anxiety is met with a sweeping harmony of a chorus, including a nice little symphonic arrangement to provide extra depth. Seriously, just let this chorus warmly wash over you. And if you thought the band would only stick to one direction, their intentions to mix things up are made with “Penny,” the second track on Laminate Pet Animal. There’s a bit more of a driving momentum to this number, though it has a similar, though more melodic, vocal approach. Again, you’re greeted with a gorgeous rising pitch vocal in the chorus. Songs like these are easily appreciated by all.
Perhaps one of the more gratifying things about Snowmine is their willingness to explore the outer spectrums of indie rock. “Danger in the Snow” has sort of a tribal beat that runs through it, and the rest of the song feels as if you’re meeting the more spastic younger brother of Grizzly Bear. Once again, arrangements of horns and what not strengthen the sound, providing a more distinct sound for the group, rather than allowing them to live as pure mimics. But all this barely holds up to what the rest of the collection has in store for you…just wait for more direct pop joy.
Perhaps too much of the first half of Laminate Pet Animal is dictated by experimentation and lush arrangements, for once “Let Me In” breaks in, there’s no turning back. This is perhaps the best song on the record, and perhaps one of the best tracks of the year to date. It’s such an unassuming track, mingling along with trickling guitar lines, rim shots on the drum, and a wondrous melody that captivates you time and time again. Similarly, “Hologram,” closes out this effort from Snowmine with a slow-paced, piano-backed ballad. Emphasis here is definitely placed on the craft of each harmony, making sure it coincides with multiple vocals tracks and various entrances and exits of instruments. More than “Let Me In,” it delves a bit further into the creative side, but near the four minute mark, the speed picks up, carrying the song to a triumphant close.
Listening to this record is something everyone should participate in this week. The songwriting is magnificent, as well as the emphatic touches of careful accompaniment. Putting it all together perfectly is the key that makes Laminate Pet Animal such a success, and you’ll walk away from the effort wishing you had more from Snowmine to take with you.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/05-Let-Me-In.mp3]
Download: Snowmine – Let Me In [MP3]