July 23, 2024

Snõõper – ‘Super Snõõper’ – “flashes past quicker than your life when you slamdance while priming plastic explosives”

THIRD MAN RECORDS 14th July 2023

Absolutely blistering fast punky fun that flashes past quicker than your life when you slamdance while priming plastic explosives (copyright: Waldo D.R. Dobbs).

The opening one minute track fuses Joy Division, Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash and more into a statement of intent. The thirty second (yeah, really) follow-up is faster than light, yet jammed with melodic fun. After that it all goes a bit jam-band, with drawn out songs lasting anything between one and two minutes. Nothing is fancy but things are tightly, perfectly structured into rushing sets of riffs and flashing fanning flourishes. Somehow, spoken word samples are cut into the songs to give a moment’s respite and the whole thing is past in 25 minutes – leaving time to play it again.

When we hit songs like Powerball, I’m very strongly reminded of the godlike genius that is Leeds’ Cowtown. Put the two alongside and everything would start to melt in an Olympic celebration of musical speed. Similarly, there is a lot of fun. This isn’t Lawnmower Deth, this is ridiculously fast power pop. Silly, naff, powerful, furious, crazed; this is all of these, with most songs barely a minute long, commenting and laughing at sports, the internet, music and anything else dashing through a racing mind.

That said, the latest single off the album is a crazy five minutes long and the most extended thing they’ve ever done. To be fair, this is their debut album, though they have a few EPs behind them. Still fast, it is just slow enough for the bassline to take shape and metallic guitar to chop and chime behind. It shows what the band are capable of, recalling the funked up interventions of Talking Heads or some bit of Gil Scott Heron, while fusing indie sensibility, manga culture and punk. A cathartic sustained burst of energy, it shows the release that frantic movement can bring.

The duo of vocalist/visual artist Blair Tramel and guitarist Connor Cummins have brought in bass, drums and extra guitar to fill the sound out and it meshes nicely. Lots of excited shouting, lots of quirky twists. It’s enough to grab the attention of Henry Rollins, who praises it to the skies – and he’s right. BUT – has he heard Cowtown? He needs to.


Ross McGibbon

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