Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shearwater and The Snow Leopard

Last year, Shearwater were praised by blogs and the music press everywhere and their album Rook was rated as one of the best of the year. But after listening to the bands recent EP, The Snow Leopard I just don't get it.

Shearwater seems so melancholic and depressed they would put goths to shame. The Snow Leopard is a psychiatric session waiting to happen; it's a moany, whiny record that is so utterly boring I found it difficult to stay awake. Thank heavens this thing is an EP, as if it were an entire album there might have been some issues.

It's ashame because, musically this band has something to offer. They're intimate noodling and swoony guitar riffs could rival anything that Jason Molina has done, but instead they get lost in the prozac haze which makes up this record. What could have been a touching, pastoral and autumnal record becomes nearly unlistenable because of just how drawn out and agonizing the vocals are. It's painful to hear. In other words, some people can sing and some people can't and Shearwater vocalist, Jonathan Meiburg really shouldn't try as he sounds like a very, very old hound dog on his last leg.

At eight songs, The Snow Leopard will undoubtedly please those who find this band charming, but for the rest of us, it will simply be too much to handle. I tried to like this I really did, but it's just hard when what you're listening to gives you a headache.

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