Broken World Media has been on a roll these past few months with releases from Sioux Falls, Molly Drag, and the Island Of Misfit Toys, and that’s only the stuff that we’ve been personally keeping up with. There’s more where that came from, and Portland four-piece Snow Roller’s debut album What’s The Score? is the latest to be added to that illustrious roster. Early singles “Too Good” and “Cycling” demonstrated that the band can pull off a ’90s-indebted sound with an assured hand, and the rest of the album proves that Snow Roller know exactly what they’re doing.
They can pack in the nervous energy on a track like “Same Reasons,” a drunken and infectious plea for help; the two most expansive tracks, “Living The Dreamshake” and closer “Kar Kar Binks” let the band stretch out and build up some momentum to immaculate riffs, the latter in particular. A lot of these songs tread in familiar themes: love of nostalgia, fear of the future, wanting things to be different but not being able to communicate why or how things should change. “It’s gotta be this way/ But I don’t want it to be this way,” they sing on “Fritz Brickle.” On “Kidney Stone,” they lay out the ways that people work too hard and too often for little reward and, after asking to give it all up, end on: “This could make you happier/ Why aren’t you happier?” These are pointed, hard-hitting tracks about the usual wishy-washy adolescent ambivalence, but Snow Roller still manage to make that sound like a breath of fresh air.
Listen to the full album below.