In a year that saw an instrumental post-rock album win the Polaris Music Prize, the climate is right for Fresh Snow to fall onto the Canadian musical landscape.
The Toronto-based four-piece released I, their debut full length earlier this year, a record of extended sonic compositions that don’t fall into what’s become the standard structure of instrumental rock albums of late (quiet-loud-crash-bang-boom-hiss-purr). The seven tracks of I glitter with hints of melody beneath the gritty, motorik groove. After sampling just a snippet of “French Horse Hall Of Fame”‘s 14 minutes and 23 seconds (available on cassette and digital only), it will come as no surprise to learn that some (if not all of) the Fresh Snow bunch are indie record store clerks. Fueled by their collective love of krautrock, psych rock, and shoegaze drone, the band spent a full day in a basement recording long protracted jams that would eventually take the shape of these songs. The first to surface in 2011, “Saturation Complete”, has a Morricone-covered-by-Stereolab vibe that’s spellbinding.
Fresh Snow’s sonic trajectory is anything but predictable. Frenetic rhythms can be stopped dead in their tracks by wailing horns; synth swirls can come on like a flash flood, muting the blizzard of static that’s been playing touch tag with the buzz-saw guitars for the last five minutes. And in the middle of it all, the clarity and precision of a sweet melodic line wafts above the din and deluge, leaving the listener in wonder and awe. There’s no point in singling out any one track that typifies Fresh Snow’s plan oif attack, as anyone of these extended workouts would fit the bill.
Fresh Snow’s I is available on both vinyl and cassette from Reel Cod Records, both of which come with a download card so that no matter what format you buy, you get yourself the essential “French Horse Hall of Fame”.
Fresh Snow’s cover of Nirvana’s “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle” is available on Hand Drawn Dracula’s Milkin’ It tribute to In Utero.
Tags: Fresh Snow, Reel Cod Records, Toronto ON