Friday, November 28, 2008
Snow patrol – a band half-baked band on a roll
I was looking on video sites for a Snow Patrol clip (of a car driving non-stop around Paris) the other day. I came across an inspired one that made me to like the band considerably more.
Sadly, this happened before I saw them live.
Half-baked seems to be one of this rock critic terms that help deride anything the writer finds unwarranted or unlikable. Stick it with underrated or immature.
But for Snow Patrol, four UK guys promoting their second major album, half-baked is entirely accurate.
Half sure of themselves, half-produced and half-written, SP’s songs, both old and new, fall into a crater of unimportance by the second verse.
It’s not devastating, and it’s not even that surprising – maybe they have decided that ‘ponderous’ is their bag and it sells – but for me and my brother, watching last week’s gig at Sydney’s Metro Theatre, the verses stay afloat only with the suspense that they may go somewhere. They do not. Often, they do not even lead to a discernible chorus.
We kept looking to each other mid-song and yelling “NO CHORUS!”
And those that do have a clear chorus, feature the predictable build-up made famous in Chasing Cars – which inevitably bursts out with drums and guitars that were spine-tingling the first time but after the forth song does it, it’s like watching a magician do a trick everyone knows the secret to.
Other tricks they tried were the big crowd singalong.
Bono, Coldplay and Ben Folds are also very guilty of this. Some people seem to love this but after a few goes, I’m thinking ‘we didn’t pay to hear ourselves sing, guys’.
So as SP try to recapture the magic of Chasing Cars, they are spinning out songs from a mid-tempo rock-ballad vat of irrelevance.
Try not to get hit by one.