Enter the Weird with Snailmate’s EXISTENTIAL ANXIETY

Over the years, I have been blessed to have experienced some great bands with unique sounds that fused a variety of great genres and styles together to create their own thing. I’m reminded of a specific few bands from the Philadelphia scene in the early 2000s that really rocked my world with their interesting styles that couldn’t be pigeonholed or identified. Two specific bands that playing particular unique and loud music were Myles of Destruction and The March Hare. Myles of Destruction were a three piece hardcore band consisting of drums, bass, and violin. Their sound bridged celtic folk music and brutal hardcore/metal. The March Hare was an improv jazz inspired punk/funk outfit with hardcore influences. Both bands were extremely loud, extremely frenetic, and extremely awesome. Both have since broken up and, despite often trying, I’ve been unable to fill the voids that their specific brands filled in my musical diet (though I still listen to older releases from both bands, of course).

Enter Phoenix AZ’s Snailmate, a band whose sound feels equally inspired by the bands that inspired the aforementioned avant-garde acts, hip hop, and the eclectic synth rock of Mindless Self Indulgence. While Snailmate is never quite as brutal as Myles of Destruction used to get (though the death metal growls in “3D Glasses” may have somethign to say about this) or as as acid jazzy as The March Hare, the bands similar to all come from the same spirit of experimentation and love of diverse music from the fringes. Snailmate’s sound is inspired by as many different bands and subgenres of music as one could possibly name… and they are all the better and more interesting for it.

The Mindless Self Indulgence comparison carries a lot of weight, as the finished product of Snailmate’s smorgasboard of musical influences and styles probably sounds more like MSI than any single other band I could think of, but there are such a wide variety of styles that shine through it would never be worthwhile to draw any comparisons that are too rigid. Each of the four tracks on Existential Anxiety seems to include at least 2-3 different musical movements and each of those movements has a different style. In this sense, the song structure is a bit reminiscent of the way System of a Down builds their songs.

The most interesting thing is how the band’s sound is able to be so fully developed while being stripped down to two instruments and vocals. The duo is able to create songs that defy logic by being both wildly complex and extremely simple. While this sounds like an oxymoron and something that makes literally no sense, Snailmate does just that.

The band may only be a few years and a couple of releases into their career, but here’s hoping they are making music for years to come… because this is the future of fringe music. The alternative world needs more bands willing to shed the constriction of genres and labels – bands that obsess of music and notes, blending into their own sound everything they love about artists and songs from far ranging genres. Snailmate, simply put, is rad as hell.


The band is also featured in the mobile game Pogo Gun Pogo which you can check out below:

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