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August 22, 2006

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There isn’t one single element of the band Snowden that stands out from the others. In this case, that's a good thing. Upon first listen of the band’s debut full-length album, Anti-Anti (they previously released a 6-song EP), you might think they hail from somewhere in Europe simply because of their dark, intimate sounds and deep, brooding vocals. Surprisingly, Snowden hails from one of the capital cities of the South: Atlanta, GA. Anti-Anti is a conglomeration of many elements, with a real focus on breathtaking drumming, precise guitar work, and sheer passion. It’s difficult to even begin to decide on one track that might be better than another. Every song has a personality of its own, and most of them have a ton of power and danceability. The band takes obvious influences from bands like Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine, grasps their intensity, and then creates a sound that could easily constitute an entirely new genre (some are calling it “post-shoegaze”).

The drums on Anti-Anti are so intense and exact that songs like “Stop Your Bleeding” could be mistaken for a techno mix heard in a dance club, and it tricks the ears into thinking the band is using a drum machine. The album’s title track is not only a great listen, but makes a statement about what’s going on today in just about every scene, no matter what town you live in. The song “Black Eyes” is a gorgeous, pulsing anthem of longing and doubt, with lyrics like “and you were dark and pensive/as your heels hit the floor with the blaring division/you didn’t have much to say/but you were beautiful anyway.” Snowden is an amazingly tight band, and every single track demonstrates their dedication to the music they’ve composed. You’ll find yourself playing the entire album front to back several times in a row. Their sound is passionate, polished, emotional, and revolutionary. It would really surprise this reviewer if Snowden’s Anti-Anti doesn’t at minimum make someone’s top ten list as one of the best and most groundbreaking albums of 2006.

The Red Alert

Michele Fair