CD Review: snarls “Burst”

Posted: March 6, 2020 in Music
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snarls is a band that describes itself as being “glitter emo alt rock”. This group calls the city of Columbus, Ohio home and it is there that the quartet that consists of Chlo White (Vocals, Guitar), Riley Hall (Bass, Vocals), Mick Martinez (Guitar) and Max Martinez (Drums) creates a style they refer to as Emo Alternative Rock. The band mentions Wolf Alice, Snail Mail, Citizen, Bully as bands that they like who most likely have influenced the band’s sound and style. And while the band’s style does indeed include both Emo and Alternative Rock influences, they could easily include New Wave as an influence in there as well.

The Columbus-based band has just released their 2020 debut album release entitled Burst. But before that album hit the street, the band spent time promoting their EP entitled What’s It Take, a three-song EP from 2019 that had given the listener a good indication of what was to come by releasing three tracks from album. But now that the release entitled Burst has finally been released, the band can now focus on promoting that.

For the first track off of the band’s debut release entitled Burst, snarls performs the song “Walk in the Woods”. With this track, the band creates a song that falls somewhere in the middle of the late eighties, early nineties. On this song, the band incorporates as much New Wave feel as it does Alternative Rock. The resulting track features music that feels as much influence from the aforementioned Scottish band Altered Images as it contains influence from the American band Sixpence None the Richer. The two different influences blend together rather well to create a style that falls solidly into the Alternative Rock genre. Much like with the second half of the title track of the release, “Walk in the Woods” features a softer energy level to the song’s musical approach. What results is a track that could feel right at home on any modern-day Pop-Rock radio format.

snarls continues their new album with the song entitled “Marbles”. With the slow-paced track, the band of snarls combines some modern-day Pop-Punk influences with some older Glam Rock influence to create a track that feels as if it would be right at home on any Alternative Rock radio format. To go along with that musical blend, the band throws in some Emo attitude into the lyrics of the track. On the song, singer/guitarist Chlo White sings about things in a relationship that drive her crazy, making her feel as if she’s “lost my mind,” as White sings in the song. The track also features lyrics about walking down the street, shopping at Walgreen’s and other everyday things most people do during their day-to-day lives. While the track features a slow pace to the music, the instrumentation on the track is far from laidback, keeping the song energetic despite the slow pace.   

The track “What’s It Take” features two separate musical directions which split the song in half. The first half of the track contains an upbeat, driving pace and features a delivery that is very influenced by New Wave music bringing to mind the style of the Atlanta, Georgia band The B-52s. In fact, the feel of the song is very reminiscent of that band’s track called “Roam” from 1990, putting this track from snarls just outside of the true era for New Wave. On the second half, snarls slows things down and changes directions. This half of “What’s It Take” seems to channel the spirit of the Scottish New Wave band called Altered Images. With this half of the track, the sound of the track recalls Altered Images’ songs like “I Could Be Happy” or “Happy Birthday” from back in 1981. One half of “What’s It Take” feels as if it belongs in the early part of the New Wave era. The other part feels as if it belongs at the other end of the era. Together, both halves create one track that firmly falls into New Wave. And while the band as a whole does a good job of channeling the two different styles to bring the song together, it is vocalist Chlo White who is the most important part to the mix, drawing out the vocal styles of both Clare Grogan of Altered Images one moment and the female vocal stylings of the B-52s the next.

With the track entitled “Hair,” the song begins with the sound of the electric guitar creating a riff that is rather reminiscent of something from Kurt Cobain. This brings to mind the music of Cobain’s band Nirvana. In fact, once the track finally begins about forty seconds in, the band follows all the way through with that direction and creates a track fully inspired by Nirvana. And while the laidback pace to the song creates a low-key track rather than a more intense Alternative Rock sound, the song still takes the listener back into the nineties, especially when the band finally brings the energy of the music up for the last minute or so of the track.

On the track “Falling,” snarls takes the sound of their music back into the late eighties. On this track, the band takes on a more pop-rock approach creating a track with a definite Indie Rock feel to it. The track of “Falling” from snarls begins with an easy pace to the music but that pace soon slightly increases only a few moments into the track. The music of the song seems to draw some inspiration from the eighties band Dream Academy who had several hits including the song “Life in a Northern Town”. Despite the fact that it does have a slight retro feel to it because of being slightly reminiscent of The Dream academy, “Falling” ends up being one of the most commercial sounding tracks on the album entitled Burst from snarls.

Burst comes to a close with the title track off the release. The track begins with just the sound of the drums, which are quickly joined by the sound of the bass. Together, the two instruments create the song an early Alternative Rock feel. Specifically, the sound of the music at the beginning of “Burst” feels like early music from The Cure. Musically, you could imagine “Burst” existing on that band’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me release. Soon, however, the track blends some influence from The Cure with some influence from Altered Images, creating a track with a sound that could have come from the band Hole, especially one of that band’s lighter tracks. With this final song, snarls brings their debut album to a close with a strong Indie Rock feel to it.

These and other tracks help to shape the debut release entitled Burst from Columbus-based snarls. The album comes with many different influences and styles throughout the length of the album. While the album has much to offer any listener, the release is ultimately for those music listeners who a lot of different styles of music. And with the fact that the album goes from New Wave to Alternative Rock to College Rock and many other styles, there’s plenty to enjoy from this debut album from this talented group of musicians.

For More information, check out the band’s record label, Take This to Heart Records.

For a taste of the debut release from snarls, check out the video to the song “Walk in the Woods”.

To check out the entire Burst release from snarls, click on the album cover below:

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