Friday, April 06, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 52: Snow Patrol - when it's all over we still have to clear up

Album - When It's all Over we Still have to Clear Up
Artist - Snow Patrol
Key Players - Gary Lightbody - Vocals and Guitar, Mark McClelland - bass, Nathan Connolly - Guitar and Backing Vocals.
Tom Simpson - Samples and Keys, Jonny Quinn - Drums

Produced By - various

Release Date - March 5, 2001 in the U.K. Subsequent reissue in America in 2006.

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Call it a a guilty pleasure (now) to like Snow Patrol. The last two records have catapulted the band to a whole new level but its early gems like this that have you realize it was happening a few years before the breakthrough.

Overview -
Hailing from Scotland and having a core group of members from Ireland as well this was the the bands second album. The album was released in 2001 with little fanfare and the band was actually dropped by their label Jeepster. The band signed with another label and released a breakout record "Final Straw". The success of that album found the two earliest Snow Patrol albums getting re-issues stateside.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- The tracks reviewed here are from the 2001 UK release and not the US re-issue which contained additional tracks.

"Never Gonna Fall in Love Again" starts off with a single buzzing guitar and Gary Lightbodys compressed, yet clear vocal delivery. There is a keyboard making a unique "bo-woop" sounds through and after the verse the bass comes in and is punchy but fits perfectly into the mix. The only downside to this track, is realizing the band really doesn't have a lot of words in their songs and will repeat certain lines over and over. Listening all over again this is one fault to the record. A musical interlude may have worked better. "Ask Me How I Am" fades up with swirling vocals. Garys voice sounds much like fans are used to and the vocals are quiet but sung beautifully. This is actually the very first song I ever heard from the band and its still one of my favorites. The band has sadly all but ignored this song in a live setting. On top of being one of the better songs, its also one of the shortest on the record. "Making Enemies" is the first track newer fans of the band may recognize as a "Snow Patrol" song. The whole bands comes together on this track with subtle drum taps, to solid bass fills throughout. The vocals have a semi "squished' feel to them but they are clear. Some nice backing vocals are mixed under some "yeah yeah's" delivered by Lightbody. "Black and Blue" the track starts of with some quiet vocals but launches in to the heaviest track to this point. The guitars are brought up and the keyboards hold down a swirling bottom under the band. The band will still perform this track live, usually towards the end of their set. This track repeats a lot of the verse "she rescues me" when instrumental work would do the trick.
"Last Ever Lone Gunman" is one of those tracks that make your realize that Snow Patrol had found a formula and stuck with it on the later records. The music is driving while each instrument gets a clear cut in the mix. "If I'd Found the Right Words to Say" begins as a darker, more melancolly track. Its sandwiched in the middle of the album. This gets the vote for the most "skippable" track on the album. "Batten Down the Hatch" vocal track is virtually "whispered" but the whole band offers harmonies and backing vocal work. Its neither a stand out track or a toss out track. "One Night Is Not Enough" a more full, rocking song from the band. The guitar work is poppy and played cleanly while the bass and drums hold down the fort with chop/chop accuracy. "Chased by... I Don't Know What" opens with distorted vocals and a crunchy guitar riff. The vocal line sung at the start is looped over the verse and the band continues with much the same feel as the prior track.
"On/Off" opens with a simple drum line and acoustic guitar line. The chiming guitars follow suit. By the time "nobodies perfect" is sung the band has found a nice, easy groove. "An Olive Grove Facing the Sea" is the longest track on the album running just over five minutes. Lightbody carries this track on his back. Musically it is subdued and it allows Lightbody to emote a lot of passion on this track. "When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up" begins with a swelling solo guitar. The drums arrive via a ride cymbal roll and the bass guitar fades up. The song continues to swell until it finally pops like a balloon. The band takes you by surprise as you'll have the volume up to hear the lyrics then the band just erupts. "Make Love to Me Forever" begins with a solo plucked guitar and breathy vocals, the words are just repeated over and over. Its a whole lot of nothing and then there is verse but over the top is the same line repeated. The album wraps up with "Firelight". For what seems like the umpteenth time a word is repeated over and over (Firelight) as the song slowly gains momentum.

Where are they now? - Snow Patrol are still active and bigger than ever. Mark McClelland was "excused" from the band during the "Final Straw" tour. Rumors circulate over a "power struggle" as well as song writing credits. McClelland continues to write and perform with a new band "Little Doses" The band is currently on tour and you can view the dates here

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - September 11, 2004 is the only time I saw Snow Patrol live. It was in the early part of the touring for Final Straw and the band played the very small (and now closed) "The Call", in Providence, Rhode Island. It was a sold out show, hot and sweaty and the band was right on top of the audience. It was the first and only time I saw a show at the Call. In the audience that night you could almost sense the band, and audience knew, it was never going to be this intimate again.

FDF Overall Take -
With the help of two strong recent records as well as music being on hit television shows Snow Patrol has entered he mainstream. For better or worse "soccer moms" can be found singing along while running errands. You know what? That's really not horrible when you think of it.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

mp3s have been removed 1:34PM ET April 25th

Never Gonna Fall in Love Again
Ask me How I am
Black and Blue

The three tracks were taken from the album which you can buy here

The bands official page is here
You can visit their myspace page

Bonus live show download

Snow Patrol April 14, 2001
Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

**show has been removed**

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 4:08 PM, Anonymous YourBiggestFAn said...

I remember being your date to "The Call" night. And you waited graciously, while I met Gary. I was the first and only to chat with them by the pool table after the show, just normal guys hanging out to drink...noone else cared...and that's when Gary and I chatted about Dublin...ah..those were the days. Then, Gary left me for a larger fan base. Mo girls, mo problems...his loss. We'll always have Providence...

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Well played.


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