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The Snails - Songs from the Shoebox (2016)
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The Snails - Songs from the Shoebox (2016)
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The Snails - Songs from the Shoebox (2016)

23-02-2016, 14:59
Rock | Alternative | Punk | Indie

Title: Songs from the Shoebox
Year Of Release: 2016
Label: The Snails
Genre: Alternative, Indie Rock, Ska, Punk
Quality: FLAC
Total Time: 28:48 min
Total Size: 178 MB


01. Tight Side of Life
02. Barnacle on a Surfboard (Barnacle Boogie)
03. Shoebox
04. Streets Walkin'
05. Dusty Snails
06. Parachutes
07. Tea Leaves
08. Flames
09. Do Like You Do
10. Snails Christmas (I Want a New Shell)

In April 2013, a little band out of Baltimore called the Snails put out a double 7'' EP called Worth the Wait. Two of the band’s members, bassist William Cashion and frontman Sam Herring, had higher profiles with their band Future Islands, but that outfit had yet to take off, and the Snails were just another venture with a different pack of pals. All of the Snails’ personnel committed to the group’s big bit: Onstage in Raleigh, N.C., band members donned colorful headpieces that looked like snails’ eye stalks, and Herring thanked a friend of the band for making sure the Snails got to the venue safely from Baltimore in a shoebox stashed under the passenger seat. Later, the Snails would lay down a full LP, but Future Islands’ sudden wave of success in 2014 meant the Snails and their Songs From the Shoebox were more or less shelved—until now, that is.
Songs From the Shoebox is a rough-around-the-edges record that bursts at the seams with excitement. The record feels like it could fall apart at any moment, but it somehow never does: Everything sounds a little fried, from the fuzz-caked guitar and bass riffs that dominate to the slick, squealy saxophone parts that work their way in. Herring doesn’t so much sing as he shouts, with his vocals sometimes bordering on outright screeching. Where Future Islands has always done well at delivering sad songs you can kind of dance to, the Snails mostly focus on fun. "Tight Side of Life" is a thick, rollicking opener, with Herring bellowing, "We’re on the tight side of life, everything is going to be all right." The song is so forceful that you feel like you have no choice to believe it’s the truth.
The tracklisting is loopy, but in a way that suits the project. "Flames" makes for an appropriately named scorcher late in the record before sliding into the droopy instrumental "Do Like You Do." The downer tune feels out of step with the rest of the album, but the band picks back up again with "Snails Christmas (I Want a New Shell)." It’s a non sequitur, but then again, the band’s over-arching concept is songs by and about snails—so, sure, why not a Christmas song, too?
Though Songs From the Shoebox’s completion was delayed by Future Islands’ massive touring schedule in 2014, the timing of its release is perfect. We’re in the agonizing home stretch of winter, and the album carries the promise that summertime’s carefree, sunburnt Saturday afternoons are right around the corner. With Songs From the Shoebox, then, the Snails offer a brief opportunity to escape to that happiest place.

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