Review- “Sentimental Gentleman”- Snailhouse

reviewed by Michael

When a band is at the top of its form, it’s quite obvious from the outset that you’re in for a good album. Snailhouse has already released five albums and an EP, and their sixth continues their tradition of overall excellence.

Snailhouse excels mostly in its subtlety- its arrangements aren’t necessarily mind-blowing, but that’s not the point here. The melodies are crafted with an expert touch and do well to complement the intelligent lyrics of frontman Mike Feuerstack. In a few places, on songs like “Daydream” there is some refreshing unpredictability.

As I mentioned, it is Feuerstack’s wit in songwriting that really carry these songs forward. He delivers a few memorable lines over the course of the album’s ten songs, such as in the song “I Never Woke Up.” Feuerstack sings “I’m a lover, not a fighter/Unless you mean a fighter for love/Then I can only take a hit if you promise to knock me out.” The song toward the end gets confusing to ponder and made me wonder how many dreams the narrator was dreaming.

The song “Great Storytellers” is, as the title might imply, about what makes a good songwriter a great songwriter. Feuerstack signs that excellent songwriters “don’t need dumb rhymes or a dictionary of chords/They tell you the truth and it turns into a lie/They love you and leave you wanting more.” He goes on to use many more paradoxical assertions and similes and they do well to describe the complex relationship between the singer and the audience.

Feuerstack gets more sentimental toward the end of the album, particularly with the ending song “Valley of Tears” which sounds just as sad as the title says.

There isn’t exactly a song on this album that could easily be called the band’s first single- the songs all have their own individual merit.

Top Tracks: “Great Storytellers”; “Clean Water”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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