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February 23, 2007

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This Georgia quartet throws back to the days of shoegazey sonic landscapes

words: Neil Miller Jr.

Straight from singer-guitarist Jordan Jeffares’ bedroom to your ears, Snowden’s Anti-Anti (Jade Tree Records) has raised the bar for what to expect from the new wave of post-shoegaze.

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Snowden began as a bedroom project helmed by Jeffares. Through including Snowden demos in his DJ sets at a rock club, he found three like-minded individuals to complete the project: drummer Chandler Rentz, bassist/keyboardist Corinne Lee and guitarist David Payne.

Jeffares sums up the band’s sound in one word -- “anxious” -- while Payne classifies it as “pop music with a bit of a dark, dancey edge.” Both classifications are spot-on. Snowden’s sound is reminiscent of the Cure and will draw comparisons to bands like Interpol and Editors. Impossible to ignore is the shoegaze element, specifically in the fuzzy, reverb-heavy guitar sound of “Black Eyes” and the delay-laden “Between the Rent and Me.” Vocally, Jeffares shines brightest on the album’s opening track, “Like Bullets.”

Both Rentz and Jeffares claim to be followers of the now seemingly defunct genre that uses such tactics, and an array of other effects, to create a sonic landscape rather than a song based on melodies. “What that music gave to me was the concept of a song being based on a general feel and atmosphere, as opposed to writing around riffs or vocals, songs that were a sum of their parts and not just everyone playing the same chords together," Jeffares says.

Coming up for the band is an appearance at the SXSW festival, a performance with Autolux at the Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco, and further touring in Europe. Already having shared stages with such indie darlings as the Arcade Fire, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Xiu Xiu, Snowden are well on their way to achieving sonic perfection and heavy underground recognition.

Snowden stop by the Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont, 773/281-4444) with Malajube February 23; Anti-Anti is out now


Neil Miller Jr.