Snarls – What About Flowers?

If I had to describe my favorite bands in one word, it’d be “dynamic.” Brighter brights and darker darks. Beauty and melody and crushing heaviness. Naturally, some genres deliver this better than others. But as Chlo White’s voice floats gossamer over fuzzy guitar and punchy bass on “For You,” the result is remarkably haunting. Snarls manages to encapsulate a variety of sounds that all at once bridge the like of Holy Fawn, Karnivool, and Dreamcatcher. Are these bands fairly niche? Maybe. But they all feel like appropriate comparisons.

Snarls fill a void left by The Ethnographers and Slow Bird. There aren’t enough female-fronted rock acts that play to cinematics, frankly. And rest assured, Snarls shimmer as well as they shatter. They’re not a rehash of any of the bands listed, but they immediately remind me of why I love those bands so much. The delicate interplay of clean and dirty guitars, the lifeblood of the drumming, the vocal layers. These songs feel huge and drip with emotion.

Honestly? It’s nice to find a band who isn’t afraid to rock, and I hope they stick with it. Small Talks started out in a similar vein but turned toward pop eventually. But the fact Snarls have already amassed a decent audience and made their name in Columbus is promising and they have a chance to break through in a way that other bands haven’t. This is incredibly exciting, not just for them but for how they might open the door for others to come. It’s a huge proof of concept.

“For You” is the quintessential track of the EP. It’s huge in all the best way. White and friends craft a thick wall of guitar effects underlying her passionate lament of lost love. There are plenty of songs about being a fool for someone, to the point these sentiments are usually cheesy (here’s looking at you, Alan Jackson). But rest assured, this context really seals the deal. She could be reading a McDonald’s receipt, and it’d work just as well. It’s the delivery that makes it feel believable. “Sparkling” is in a similar vein, and it’s another highlight.

“If Only” trades in some of the fuzz of “For You” for delay and keys, but it’s the other main pillar of the EP. Drums are thick and steady, helping cycle momentum. A small lull with looped vocal “oo’s” gives way to a dissonant close. It’s certainly a bit more on the poppy side, but it’s only further proof that Snarls can handle the whole spectrum of their sound on these songs.

Ultimately, the whole EP is a solid effort. Snarls have locked in a great balance of melody and aggression, and I can’t help be an instant fan.

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