I’m not hella big on writing reviews that arent about things I like, but as someone who still holds Snail Mails ‘Habit’ EP in high regard I feel I need to say something.
In this current age of young white women leading grunge/90’s revivalist bands (Diet Cig, Forth Wanderers, Soccer Mommy etc.) Snail Mail was/is a real stand out for me. There was something about the washed out energy simmering just below the surface of all the tracks on their ‘Habit’ EP that was spellbinding. The drums were driving and the guitar was steady and charging. It barrelled ahead like a train with precious cargo crossing the midwest, all led by the great writing and voice of Lindsey Jordan. Short and sweet, ‘Habit’ was anything but boring.
But my goodness ‘Lush’ finds Jordan and Co so lost in their own compositions that even the worst Frankie Cosmos track sounds like a good time. Jordans lyrics are still good, and her vocals sound great pushed to the forefront of the mixes, but there is no energy to be found on this, their much anticipated debut LP.
Every track seems to creep around the corner the way The Lumineers do in that one music video: unexpected, unsure of themselves, and halfheartedly playing their instruments. Try as I might to find a way to offset the lugubrious music with Jordans penchant for storytelling, I just cant ignore it; Im bored and this record is boring.
Jordan has been getting a lot of comparisons to Liz Phair recently with all the honesty inherent in their songwriting. But ‘Exile in Guyville’ is a record filled with ducks and weaves like an experienced boxer in a street fight. It’s all over the place but its rarely stuck in one mood for too long before shifting somewhere fresh, a new angle. On the other hand, ‘Lush’ is a slow train moving forward because it has to. Gone is the precious cargo and sense of purpose that made ‘Habit’ shine so bright.
THINNING IS AN INCREDIBLY SIMPLE AND TOUCHING TRACK THAT STILL GETS ME PUMPED UP EVERY TIME I HEAR IT AGAIN AND AGAIN. AND I WILL ALWAYS LIKE THIS SONG.
WAH WAH I LIKED A BAND AND I DONT LIKE THEIR NEW RECORD AND I HAVE OPINIONS WAH WAH GO LISTEN TO SNAKESKIN INSTEAD.