Posts Tagged ‘Glam Rock’

The band called snarls calls the city of Columbus, Ohio home. There, the quartet of Chlo White (Vocals, Guitar), Riley Hall (Bass, Vocals), Mick Martinez (Guitar) and Max Martinez (Drums) create a style they refer to as Emo Alternative Rock. The band mentions Wolf Alice, Snail Mail, Citizen, Bully as Bleached 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 band is currently in the middle of creating their 2020 release entitled Burst. But before that album hits the street, the band is in the middle of promoting their EP entitled What’s It Take, a three-song EP that gives the listener a good indication of what is to come.

snarls begins their What’s It Take EP with the title track of said release. 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 to the music. This portion of the track features a delivery that is very influenced by New Wave music. The music itself brings 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” that they released back in 1990, putting the track just outside of the true era for New Wave. With the second half of the song, the band slows things down and changes directions. This half of the track “What’s It Take” takes the band’s music back to near the middle of the New Wave era as the band seems to channel the spirit of the Scottish New Wave band called Altered Images. With this half of the track, snarls creates a sound that easily brings to mind the feel of Altered Images songs like “I Could Be Happy” or “Happy Birthday” from back in 1981. While one half of the song “What’s It Take” feels as if it belongs in the early part of the New Wave era, and the other part feels as if it belongs at the other end of the era, both halves create one track that firmly falls into New Wave. And while the band members of the group do a good job of channeling the two different styles to bring the song together, it’s vocalist Chlo White who truly brings the two styles together as she is most important part to the mix, drawing out the vocal styles of both Clare Grogan of Altered Images and the female vocal stylings of the B-52s.

What’s It Take continues 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.    

For the final track of the three songs found on the What’s It Take EP, snarls performs the song “Walk in the Woods”. With this track, the band takes the sound of their music to the late eighties, early nineties as they incorporate as much New Wave feel as 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.

Although only three tracks, the What’s It Take EP from snarls finds the band creating a short release that shows off the band’s various musical influences. And while the release contains only three songs, those three songs are strong enough to grab hold of the listener and make them want to hear more. But since the album entitled Burst will be released in only a matter of days, the listener does not have to wait long for more from this young but talented band. Start with the three tracks found here on the What’s It Take EP from snarls and then stay tuned to the band’s Facebook page for the announcement from snarls of the release of Burst.

Before the Burst album from snarls is released, check out the What’s It Take EP on the band’s record label, Take This to Heart Records.

Everett Young found himself looking for a new direction in life over a decade ago. Wanting that new direction, he became motivated to learn to play the guitar, an instrument that he had picked up and put down several times before. However, this time was the charm and he added the ability to play the guitar to other talents including playing the keyboards. Now able to play the guitar, Everett Young turned his focus to being a musician full time. Both a music teacher and a musician in his own right now, Young took that talent and created a musical outfit called Kicklighter.

In Kicklighter, Everett Young has created music that has a truly timeless sound and feel. That timeless feel is mainly because the music created by Everett Young exists somewhere in the late seventies, early eighties between the Glam Rock and New Wave eras of music, an era where the music was still evolving before it started catching the ear of the music-buying people at the time. To help bring the music of Kicklighter alive, guitarist/keyboardist/singer Everett Young is joined by album producer/bassist Tim DeLaney, drummer Sam Owens and several others who add a few musical contributions to the album to help flesh out the music.

Because of their sound, if there was one person that you could compare Everett Young and Kicklighter to, it would probably be English New Wave musician John Foxx. The two musicians have much in common: Neither seem to follow the norm, both are multi-talented musicians, and their respective songs are written not for the everyday music buyer but for those who want something more substantial than the cookie cutter pop music that exists in the music industry.

Kicklighter’s music can be found on the album entitled The Fascinating Thinking Machine. The 2014 album begins with the track “Until You See the Sun”. The track features a strong guitar-based feel to the music that easily falls into the New Wave era of music. The gentle driving feel pace to the rock music and the background noise bring to mind the feel of the Thomas Dolby while the sound of the music also brings to mind John Foxx. The track truly brings back the sound of the early eighties.

While the first track had a guitar-driven feel, the second track of “Says a Tender Mind” finds Everett Young and the rest of the band creating a track that features a sound that is equal parts guitar and keyboards. This track is the perfect track to show off Young’s ability as a lyricist. Lyrics like “it is a world without any right angles” and “I think too much, drive myself mad” bring into focus the fact that Everett Young was, at one point, a political psychologist. While lyrics like those do seem a little unusual for today’s pop music; they are not so unusual that they would put the listener off. “Says a Tender Mind” is a good spot to enjoy Young’s playing on both the keyboard and the guitar. The track allows for both instruments to shine.

Tackling a subject like robotics and making it work as a song is very difficult. But somehow, Everett Young has managed to create lyrics about a robot and makes them work in the song “Making a Robot”. The lyrics about making a robot that thinks and behaves just like a human creates a moment on the release that will make people stop and think. Along with the thought provoking lyrics, the song has a much more commercial feel to it than the first two tracks on The Fascinating Thinking Machine. The guitar-driven song features Young creating the track with both electric and acoustic guitars. That combination helps to create the commercial sound featured on the track.

With the track “The Sultan of Brunei,” Kicklighter goes away from the rock music that came before and they take the music in a slightly jazzy feel. The music from Young, bassist Tim DeLaney and drummer Sam Owens creates a smooth groove. With the inclusion of Joe Gransden on horn, the combo sounds as good as if it were an actual jazz combo. The light vocal delivery from Young adds to the jazzy feel of the track. The jazzy track makes for a nice break from the rock music that came before.

Staying with a slower, lighter feel to the music, The Fascinating Thinking Machine continues with the song “After the Healing”. While “The Sultan of Brunei” has a jazzy feel to it, “After the Healing” finds Everett Young and the rest of Kicklighter moving towards a “lite rock” feel to the music. The lyrics of the song help add emotion to the song.

The Fascinating Thinking Machine from Kicklighter is an interesting album of music that features music that could be from almost any decade. The music on the release is nicely varied and that keeps the album interesting. And while some of the topics covered in the lyrics by Everett Young may seem a bit outside of the norm, the songs never stray too far. The result of that is an album that is listener friendly while still being unique.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: **** (four stars)