Deep Cuts, Fast Remedies (Victory)
by Ewan Wadharmi
No, Disney hasn’t franchised a band to provide rousing music at Mighty Ducks games. Surely if Cuba Gooding Jr. fronts a band, it will be called The Second Main Ingredient. Nay, my minions, Snowdogs will have to provide a different excuse for the stupidest, most ambiguous moniker since American Music Club.
The clandestine way Deep Cuts… takes hold is like feeling yourself getting sick. I’ve been inoculated, and I swear I’ve got a high level of resistance to pop rock. The first impression is confusion over mainstream hard rock that seems a bit out of place in this age of extremes. And even though you wouldn’t jump up and turn it off, you’re left with a nagging feeling you’ve been exposed to something. On the second spin, the Van Haggarsmith comparisons have been dismissed, as you feel flushed and feverish. By third listen, you accept that you’re infected and explore all the sensations it brings. Most mystifying is how Snowdogs accomplish this feat with a level of musicianship that feels attainable to the rest of us slobs. No guitar tech blue-ball solos or operatic arias. The drumming is agreeable and gets the job done to be sure, but doesn’t aspire to be monsters of rock. And while the songcraft is by no means lacking, I’ve heard bands with better writing skills fall flat. Truly, there’s some indefinable element at work transcending the group’s individual limits.
At certain points you’ll hear influences from Soul Asylum to Aerosmith, but if those bands tried to integrate soul-ska, joke rap, or sea chanteys, they’d come across as grade-A assholes. Snowdogs are as unapologetic as they are successful in exploring their musical interests. It all sounds real and will have you singing along “hey listen DJ, your attitude sucks/it’s been hard day, play something that rocks/no rap about the hoes and bitches/dumb shit about dance re-mixes.” It seems moot to mention obscure ’80s Georgia bands like Dreams So Real and Drivin-N-Cryin due to the level of obscurity. Deep Cuts… is the sort of work that spawns a movement of its own, leaving influences forgotten in its wake.
(346 North Justine St. #504 Chicago, IL 60607)