Snails - Safe in Silence
Bristol band Snails first emerged back in 2012 with their gorgeous debut single "She'd like an hour". As you would expect from a band called Snails they take their time about things, so nothing much happend until Easter 2015 when the magnificent "Talking to Anthony" single was realised and started to get tongues wagging with admiring chat. Indeed the likes of Stephen Pastel and Phil Wilson of the June Brides have been spreading the word about their love for the band. Word has even reached Teenage Fanclub and pleasingly they asked Snails to open for them at their recent Bristol gig.
Finally their debut album "Safe in Silence" is ready and what a wonderfully eccentric treat it is. Sadly though the planned physical release has had to be shelved for the time being, so it is only available via their Bandcamp page at the moment. Hopefully though, some enterprising label can pick up the record and give it the realease and profile that it deserves.
One of the appealing things about Snails is that they don't really sound much like anyone else. They combine elements of DIY Pop and folky psyche to weave a unique and beguiling sound. The album starts with the joyfully infectious "Jennifer Jones" which is sets the tone nicely with a slice of 60's psychedelia which could have come from the mysterious head of Syd Barrett. Time frames wander all over the place yet it holds together splendidly as great pop song.
The albums features both sides of the "Talking to Anthony" single, so you get to enjoy the beautifully breezy "Winter Hearts" and it's lovely catchy musical riff. Cut from a different cloth is more contemplative "Red Nose Floating" but the band quickly return to quirky pop in the form of "More Than a Second". "Olivia" could almost be taken from the world that Euros Child's inhabits, with its strong melody and amusing lyrics. And so it goes on for the rest of the album. No straight lines here but lots of interesting and occasionally meandering byways to hold your attention throughout.
So having said that the band don't sound like anyone, I've mentioned a couple of people who could been seen as coming from a similar area. Both of the names I've alluded to are classic maverick figures, playing little heed to conventional structures and following their own ever changing template. Snails certainly share those traits. They don't sound particularly 2016 or 1967 but they cans easily fit in both worlds.
The arrangements take the songs through a charming array of musical settings. Atmospheric keyboard and strings match with some classic "bah bah bah"trumpet and some great vocal harmonies, as unconventional melody lines come from every part of the record. I understand the band will be undertaking a tour to promote the album and as mentioned previously it be great to see this come out in a physical form. Many of the people in the band have played in great bands that have escaped the wider musical world beyond the confines of Bristol, let's hope that Snails can buck that trend. It would be greedy of us Bristolians to keep the band to ourselves.