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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

9.5

Snowman
The Horse, The Rat and The Swan

The Horse, The Rat and The Swan sounds as though it was recorded in a single weekend. This isn't to say that the album sounds rushed or unfinished - far from that in fact, some details seem to have been painfully slaved over - but more that the record perfectly captures a specific moment. This record is the documentation of the events that occurred when the band locked themselves in a supposedly haunted castle and scared themselves shitless for 48 hours. It's the reinterpretation of a fictional story where the line between mystic worlds and real life is blurred. It's spooky. It's scary. It's undeniably brilliant. It's quite possibly the hardest record ever to explain without over-the-top descriptive tom-foolery.

For the most part, this musical journey is a confusing blend of ups and downs. It spends a lot of it's time completely lost in an endless sea of conflicting layers of haunting, distant sounds. It flourishes on how these situations interact with the band's more traditionally structured music. This is the record where Snowman discover their sound and have a lot of fun seeing how well it bends and twists out of shape. It's the result of a band successfully ignoring their instincts and escaping from their comfort zone.

Occasionally, the music on this album feels as though it's miles from you, engrossed in it's own endless loop of horror film scenes, but then, in the very next breathe, finds itself warmly wrapped around your head squeezing the life out of you. Best treated as a single body of work, it uncovers it's brilliance in the way in which it finds the perfect balance between uncontrollable assaults and floods of emotive atmosphere. This record wouldn't be as brilliant as it is without the quieter pauses and fantastic use of space and time - best executed in The Blood Of The Swan and She Is Turning Into You - but the unashamed and somewhat brutal angst-driven snippets, such as the thrilling opener Our Mother (She Remembers) and Daniel Was A Timebomb, play an equally important role. Holding these two sides of the album together are tracks such as The Horse (Parts 1 & 2) which splits itself between a spacious cinematic composition and gut-kicking, thunderous, drum heavy chaos.

Although not without it's own flashes of brilliance, Snowman's self-titled debut sounds disjointed and undernourished when placed alongside the epic compositions that make up this album. Gone are the attempts to create anything that even remotely sounds like a radio-friendly package and in it's place is an album that is overflowing with real depth and substance. The giant leap forward - and the speed at which the band has transformed their approach, from this record to their previous work - is quite remarkable.

The Horse, The Rat and The Swan is an incredibly cohesive musical journey, showcasing a band that is truly in their element and enjoying being fully immersed in the beast they have created. Every precise element of the songs seem to have poured straight out of their soul, created from freshly squeezed blood and sweat. This is as graphic and horrifically beautiful as music of this brutal nature can get. Snowman have set the new benchmark for all Australian records this year and I find it very hard to imagine any other local release being better than this in 2008.

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Record Reviews
Snowman

 

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Comments

flukazoid

That's a huge rating, and a big call - but I think I might just find myself agreeing...

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

yeh .. we didn't make it lightly though..
sat on it for about a two/three weeks ... my initial reaction of 'whoa.. holy shit' ... was still there two weeks after first hearing the album
it's brilliant..

1 decade ago

flukazoid

first album in a long time that I've been able to play multiple times over without tiring of it...

1 decade ago

quack

woah...better get me paws on this album...

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

yeah .. there is a lot of music happening.. it's hard to grab it all on the first listen i reckon..

1 decade ago

monachilada

just listening on headphones now...
as i suspected there is a whole lot more stuff going on that i hadnt heard before on my inbuilt macbook speakers.
only adds to the brilliance of it.

1 decade ago

flukazoid

not very much sounds brilliant on macbook speakers...
heck even on my laptop speakers (with a built-in 1" subwoofer) not much sounds brilliant...

1 decade ago

kristov8

It truly is as great as the review suggests!

1 decade ago

vitalorgans

Good review man, its a tough one to put into words! without saying amazing and derranged over and over!
its unbeatable i think!

1 decade ago

Aaaaaaaaaron

I hope it is. I don't like being let down.

1 decade ago

Sean

yeah....this record really is great. weird. dark. fucked up.

1 decade ago

Kasee Lara

It's...pounding.

In a good way.

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

when is pounding not good?

1 decade ago

monachilada

when is sexual inuendo not good?

1 decade ago

vitalorgans

When youre talking to your uncle.

1 decade ago

Kasee Lara

When you're talking about your uncle.

1 decade ago

saimagery

Awkward moments.

I have to listen to it a few more times, but it's haunting me already. Reminds me of Knives of Neptune's Lakes in parts.

1 decade ago

monachilada

although we all act like we dont care and hate them, i know we also are secretly excited when a local band we all think is ace gets a good review from pitchfork. so here it is: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/node/142759

1 decade ago

Sean

yeah i just saw that.

all of a sudden my blog is getting lots of traffic from snowman searches on hype machine and google blogsearch.

1 decade ago

flukazoid

I'm not secretly excited, I'm ecstatic for the band. What a great accolade!

I always laugh at how badly researched Pitchfork reviews are though.

"Over three records" (uh, try two?)
"Citawarman handles the contorted, shouted leads, McKee offers deep, oddly calming intonations" (wrong order buddy)
"guitarist/violinist Aditya "Andy" Citawarman" (could have sworn Andy plays keys and violin)

1 decade ago

Vacuus Animus

how come this was never mentioned on here?

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=13042825&blogId=531662470

just sayin'

9 years ago

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