A horrible hack


Plague Waters

Year Released: 2008
Format: CD
Label: Fysisk Format
Reviewed by Oli Saunders on Feb 28, 2009
I promised to write a review for this album months ago and finally I have got round to it. There are a few reasons for the time delay including, it has to be said, some laziness on my part. The main reason though, is that I haven't been able to make up my mind about it. Initially I was dissapointed. I really liked Snöras' previous effort, the 2006 album Heart Of Weakness. It was solid and enjoyable, my main criticism being that it ended up sounding very similar throughout. So I looked forward to this new album when I heard it was coming out. But when I played it I was at first very much underwhelmed. Maybe it was the mood I was in at the time but I remember getting bored by it to be honest. I think I listened to it once through and then put it to one side. Fast forward a few months and I gave it another listen, and then a few more listens. It grew on me over time, and I ended up quite liking it. Fast forward another few months and now I sit here this morning listening to it again and ready to give my opinions of it. Sorry for this shitty introduction but I wanted to provide this background - it's not been a simple case of me either liking or disliking the record and sticking with that.

So first of all, Snöras is or at least was for the first album essentially a one man project - a guy called Yngve Hilmo writing most of the music and playing guitar and bass and performing vocals on the recordings. This is pretty incredible to me and surely to you too right? There are two guitars on that first album, I guess he played both parts. For gigs he would get members of other bands to fill in. It appears he gets a bit more help on this latest album, with another vocalist Mathias Nylenna (who also plays guitar), but Yngve still does vocals, guitar and bass.

Okay so this is all great Oli but what the fuck do they actually sound like? Well simply put, it's a kind of modern chaotic emo. But thinking about it more, it's not easy to name drop bands that similar to them. There are jangly guitars but which don't really have that French jangly feel that I usually go on about such as Belle Epoque and the like. The band are from Norway and after knowing this I kind of see some Norwegian influences creeping in, but without knowing I wouldn't have guessed it. There are screamed vocals but it's not your straight forward screamo sound. There are parts of songs with instrumental parts but it's not post rock like in the way that Suis La Lune do it. It's pretty unique I guess. That's the highest praise I can give it. The songs themselves on this album do again kind of blend into one for me and I think that's the main problem I have with it - they are all good without really standing out as being amazing.

So to summarise, check this out for some pretty cool and original emo that probably won't blow you away you but there's a good chance you'll like (if you like modern emo!). I'll play it now and again for sure. Some of my favorite albums I've actually not liked at all when first hearing, but this isn't going to be one of those. I've got it on CD - it also came out along with the first album Heart Of Weakness as a double LP release at the start of this year. Note also the artwork for the album, like the previous album is really weird! I bet it looks amazing for the vinyl release.

28th February 2009

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