Fresh Snow: One
Toronto post-rock outfit Fresh Snow release their new opus. Simon Tucker reviews and finds a band hitting peak form.
Fresh Snow are a band this writer has reviewed before. Whilst there was plenty to celebrate on the debut album there was a sense of a band searching to find a direction. Of not quite hitting the cohesive standards that their obvious talent obviously had within them. Well, with this new album Fresh Snow have not only progressed dramatically from that release but have delivered a concise, explosive, and powerful album. One is the sound of a band confident in their songwriting and displaying a gift for dynamics.
Fresh Snow are described as a post-rock band (I believe we have done as such above) but this would be doing them a disservice as whilst there are certainly songs here that you could put in the box make post, the band also throw in a myriad of other influences and sounds which helps One stand out from the hordes of bands selling themselves as “post-rock” when really they’re just Mogwai copyists.
Opening with the dreamy and meditative Olinda (don’t get too comfortable though as the song has a trick up its sleeve) before driving into the monstrous January Skies, One is already an exciting and thrilling listen with Eastern and desert influences sticking grit in the oasis.
The first big aural swerve from the expected happens with Mass Graves / Dance Graves which is pure DFA guitar dance heaven. Turns out these boys know how to groove and have their eyes set on more than just the standard “rock” crowd.
Eat Me In St Louis (great title) is an emotional piano lament full of plaintive piano and glistening synthetics whilst I Can’t Die is foot down all guns blazing race to the sunset. Heavy tones break down into into an updated version of The Doors blues before we switch geographically to eighties Britain and the Blitz club full of machine pop and great haircuts.
I Am Smitten With Your Wrath is the most “post-rock” song here but its quality makes it stand out and Anytime Minutes is brooding ad beautiful.
Closer Flat White really throws you off course as it is, dare I say it, jaunty. It’s a song that at first disappoints before a shift in sound and style break in turning the song (and the listener) on its head.
One is a wonderfully accomplished album that captures that wonderful moment when a band really click into gear and push themselves forwards into new territory. It ebbs and flows, peaks and dips, making it one of the better albums of the year.