Brooklyn’s Southpaw is the sort of rock club that the “locals” take inordinate pride in pointing you to as you ask for directions (below the numbers on 5th Ave. in Park Slope, if you care). And due to the threat of drizzle — and a set at Sin-e a few nights earlier (keeping the Manhattanites at bay)– these proud denizens of the Slope were precisely the people Snowden was playing for: the foot traffic of a burgeoning neighborhood, the brave souls that spent their Saturday night wandering in to check out whatever act was gracing their beloved stage that night; a casual man-on-the-street crowd, Pitchfork and blog love bedamned. Good thing, then, that Snowden’s Anti-Anti is such a kick ass record.

Rarely have we come across a band that belongs in NYC any more — and this ain’t the sort of astute observation solely built on lyrics that speak to “a princess in a window in SoHo.” Snowden sounds like the band you’d want to hear if you wandered into a bar just off Essex below Houston. There’s that indifferent vocal tone, carrying infectious melodies over a warm, lo-fi kick drum sound, overdriven bass and arty, reverb-doused guitars. With each slowly-building song structure, each set of handclap-laden drum-and-vocal breaks, and each chiming, dance-wave guitar ride out, the band’s keen sense of craft is obvious. Yet these devices — and Jordan’s urban-weary tone — can’t mask the substance beyond the style.

The irony is that the group lay their heads in Atlanta, a deception as simple as it is dangerous; this band is far from feigning a fad. Lyrics that paint tales of disingenuous lovers and disheartening social scenes shouldn’t be this danceable, and the songs are just too good to dismiss. Snowden has just released one of the best debuts we’ve heard all year. Take these tunes as Exhibit A.

Snowden – “Between The Rent And Me” (MP3 Link Expired)

True, the record has twelve songs when it could have ten, and some songs stretch to five minutes when they should be four. But seeing Snowden live — where there’s new urgency injected from beefed up kit work and their solid stage presence — made short shrift of that critique. We wanted even more.

“But do they have soul?” was a concern voiced via IM when we were rounding up troops for the trek to BK. You bet your sweet ass they do. For all the discussion of concept, geography, and songcraft, it’s the heart pulsing through the reverb that makes Anti-Anti a must-listen.

 
Comments (13)
  1. Couldn’t agree more. Saw them a few days ago here in Boston and was utterly blown away. While the album’s great, their live show kicks it up a notch.

  2. just some them at our beloved SOUL BAR in augusta, georgia….and yes, they got soul to spare…..and rock for your ass as well…..just make sure you send them back to GEORGIA!

  3. One of the best dance anthems of this summer is easily the Le Castle Vania Disco Remix of Snowden’s Black Eyes. Castle Vania Disco is also from Atlanta. You can download it from my site.

  4. One of the best dance anthems of this summer is easily the Le Castle Vania Disco Remix of Snowden’s Black Eyes. Castle Vania Disco is also from Atlanta. You can download it from my site.

  5. cardio workout  |   Posted on Aug 28th, 2006 0

    i love snowden!!! i want big things for them

  6. I was at their CD release party at the Drunken Unicorn in the ATL last week and they were awesome.

    You say that they’re from Atlanta like it’s a bad thing. LOL

  7. like bullets and black eyes are great songs and on constant rotation. Snowden are playing the mercury lounge in NYC next month, should be a good one.

  8. it’s nice to see how far the band has come in the past three years.

  9. Does anyone else think the sound at Southpaw is too loud???? The music would sound a lot better with a lower volume.

  10. Audrey  |   Posted on Aug 29th, 2006 0

    I’m with Ryan.

    You say it as if it’s a bad thing. I realize it’s hard to believe or wrap your head around…but good bands don’t JUST come out of NYC. I’m sooo tired of all the misconceptions about the south. I’ve met more hicks in Maine for christs sake….

  11. Aww, didn’t mean it as a bad thing at all! I’ve never been to Georgia, but everyone I know from there is just peachy (get it?).

    Point being, they shouldn’t be viewed as “feigning a fad,” just because their sound is quintessentially NYC and they hail from other parts. There’s so much more to them!

    Good bands aren’t exclusive to any ZIP code; hell, my favorites right now hail from Montreal to Norway — and just about everywhere in between. Sounds and styles, however, tend to be more regional. But this tendency is far from exclusive. Case in point: Snowden.

    And I love ‘em.

  12. Amanda  |   Posted on Aug 29th, 2006 0

    Amrit~
    I’m an Atlantian that actually has a tiny magnet on my fridge that says ‘peachy’ if you can believe it….which you should because it’s true. We are pretty peachy people for the most part. :)

  13. Harley  |   Posted on Sep 9th, 2006 0

    Snowden are epic.

    I was lucky enough to watch their set in NY, prior to which I hadn’t heard any of their material (a friend dragged me along). However, I left the joint a Snowden fan. Their live shows beat their recorded stuff by far, so check them out if they ever hit your town. It’ll be a night well spent indeed.

    Check out the acoustic version of Black Eyes. Beautiful.

    Peace

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