Snowbyrd – Review


(Saustex Media)
by Craig Regala

Four piece from San Antonio with laidback grooves, warm tones, and a strolling melodicism whose first LP gives the non-metal, non-pop rock audience something to grab onto. It’d be appropriate if the general audience out in radioland got the chance to hear this. If you have a Ted or Jack radio format – y’know, the hits from 25 years or so – you could program the fifth track, “Morning Larks,” in the midst of it and there wouldn’t be much dial-twirling. Radio genre marketing makes that tougher than it oughta be: People like good tunes, even if they prefer one “kind” of music. Much of the time, if those “kinds” of music are based in the guitar/bass/drums thing, they aren’t that different outside of accent and melodic coloring.

So, this oughta appeal to folks who dig the Willie Nelson/Dwight Yoakum/Steve Earl side of country, the side shot through with Tex Mex grooves and nods to a wide selection in roots/folk music. That width being Willie and Steve’s taste for reggae and Dwight’s non-country covers like the Clash’s “Train in Vain.” The garageland drumming keeps this disc from being too laidback, or meandering into mere balladry. Overall, these are rock guys moving into rootsier music, kinda like Golden Smog did. The vocalist sounds a bunch like Big Audio Dynamite/Clash singer Mick Jones. Friendly and kinda wistful. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys knocked out The Clash’s “Stay Free” or “Hitsville UK” for fun. Or “Beer Barrel Polka.” With their peddle steel in place of the accordion, it’d flow great.