Animal Farm CD - Victory
Victory Records seems to be making a conscious effort to branch
out and expand the range of its roster as of late, but one can’t
help but wonder what on earth they were thinking with this one.
Okay, so maybe the opening poppy punk burst of “Are You
With Missy?” is a little catchy, but the bulk of the songs
that follow sound like a garage punk band nursing an unhealthy
obsession with the arena metal of bad Eighties hair bands. Originally
from London, and created by brothers Ville and Mat Leppanen,
Snowdogs has apparently been doing pretty well overseas, but
it is tough to see this record catching on here in the states.
Maybe that is insulting to our music scene, or maybe it is insulting
to the band, but it is difficult to imagine crowds of people
lining up to hear this. Animal Farm, the band’s
debut which was originally released on Track Records, takes
the pop punk we are used to today, subtracts the goofiness and
sappiness, and adds a bit more of a gritty and raw feel. Edgier
punk cuts like “Little Liar” and “Alright!
Ok!” stand out, as do the undeniably catchy hooks of tracks
like “It Don’t Add Up,” while those like “Best
Discoveries” and the six-minute “Neverfade”
come off sounding like a bad Poison cover band with a penchant
for rock ballads. Musically, the guys play tightly enough, better
than you might expect from a debut record. But Ville’s
castrated vocals are difficult to describe, wailing away in
a peculiar fashion that is cute one minute, grating the next.
And in the end, much like the Cuba Gooding Jr. flick of the
same name, Snowdogs is something worthy of being passed over.
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