Fresh Snow are already winning with their kickass krautrock, so it makes perfect sense that they’ve Won with their sophomore album. Interestingly also their second album pronounced like “one,” this new odyssey introduces two guest singers, which is really just icing on the awesome, mind-blowing cake.
Live, it’s never clear where Fresh Snow are going—they might jam for 10 minutes with an epic wall of sound or break out an instrumental cover of “Mony Mony.” Recorded it’s just as unpredictable, especially since the core guitars, keys and percussion are augmented by the occasional saxophone and strings.
At least for the first four minutes, “Don’t Fuck a Gift Horse in the Mouth” (best song title ever?) seems like it could be charging forward with guitars and drums. But then Damien Abraham’s growl comes into play and the song becomes as intense as his vocals. At that point, distortion starts to make it way in, and it takes on that rejuvenating quality inherent in Fucked Up’s music. Listening to this 10-minute piece will make you feel lighter by its end.
Elsewhere, some songs give you a bit of breathing room. “Delft” is Fresh Snow’s version of dreamy music, with a focus on keys and some strings a little later. “Blood in the Sun” at first sounds like it could go the same way; the soft piano and occasional strum of guitar are deceptive. About one minute in, the guitars and drums come in at full blast for the band’s most true-to-form krautrock on the album.
“Proper Burial” is appropriately funereal with its main organ part (though it gets a bit funky thanks to bass line) and brings in DIANA and Army Girls’ Carmen Elle on vocals for added enigma. Her lyrics about burned-out fires and memories erased by time eventually lead to the chorus: “You’re looking for love or a proper burial.”
The album’s other journey “King Twink Ride Again,” changes so often a separate review could be written about it; starting with drums, it slowly brings in keys, then guitars, and then things go nuts. Want some furious shredding? Saxophone? Complete melody changes? You’ll get ’em all here.
Fresh Snow are never content to rest on their laurels; more ass-kicking will probably be on its way sooner or later. But until then, Won will satisfy your soul.
Top Tracks: “King Twink Rides Again”; “Don’t Fuck a Gift Horse in the Mouth”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*