Snow Patrol – Final Straw – Review

Snow Patrol

Final Straw (A&M)
by Tim Den

Although Final Straw is Snow Patrol‘s U.S. debut, the band has been around for over 10 years in their native Scotland. Combining Idlewild’s penchant for so-simple-it-almost-shouldn’t-be-good refrains with the best moments of emorchestrations (wait… did I just invent a new word? Like, to describe Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity and stuff? Coooool!), Final Straw‘s songs border on mainstream pop rock, but keep their integrity well within the cloudy nature of that “Scottish sound” we love so much. And by keeping things short-and-sweet (verse/chorus/verse/chorus, sometimes not even a bridge), they hit you with catchy-as-hell, overcast hooks and then split before repetition ruins their welcome.

“Tiny Little Fractures”‘ “whoa oh ohs” are maddeningly addictive, and “Spitting Games”‘ “ooooooo”s segue beautifully into a giant chorus, but never are they overbearingly driven into the ground. In the rare occasion that the band do decide to stretch out certain sweet spots, it’s always worth it: “Run”‘s desperate plea, “Same”‘s soulful swooning, and especially closer “Trees”‘ “aaaahhhhh” choir-of-voices.

Already critics’ darlings because of their all-star/pet project The Reindeer Section, Final Straw proves that Snow Partrol can turn elementary progressions into guilt-free (not to mention fun) rock songs as well.