Review Summary: Floating through an indie dream.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Much like the album art brandishes, Burst
is an airy landscape embellished with a glittery, dreamy atmosphere. Snarls’ combination of the upfrontness of indie rock and the atmospheric fullness of dream pop culminates into a fluid, cohesive aura of dreaminess and ethereal ambience enveloping the influence of rock throughout the record.
With a warm presence of reverb and delay, the guitar-work often floats across the landscape, encompassing each individual track in a lulling embrace. Opening the album up with a more indie rock centric rhythm and timbre in “Walk in the Woods,” the strings slowly progress into a vibrant character of airiness and fullness in the final climax of “Burst.” The subtle, underlying intricacies of the guitars magnify the already dreamy ambience, injecting beautiful melodies in the background in tracks like “Falling.” This layering of a multitude of effects and supporting harmonies, both lively and sorrowful, coalesce into a magnificent product of beauty, melancholy, and delicacy. Tying the guitars together, the bass, encapsulated by airy effects, complements the melodies and adds to the atmosphere by building upon the foundation of the landscape. Although generally used ambient support, the occasional basslines of tracks like “Concrete” create a rounded, harmonious chemistry between the stringed instruments. Abstaining from complexity and technicality, the drums throughout Burst
only work towards one thing: maintaining the album’s lofty mood. With its simplicity and driving-nature, the drums pave a pathway through the record’s atmosphere, guiding the listener through its expansive landscape. With the occasional upbeat progressions as exemplified through “What’s It Take,” the drums combine a variety of tempos and grooves to mold each track to fit cohesively through the album.
Ultimately, the vocals and their melodies are what truly evoke the sense of dreamy atmosphere of Burst
. Soaring above the instrumentation, the vocal melodies glide across each track’s airy ambience in a rather flamboyant manner. Contained within the first two tracks of the record, the vocals impose a rather sharp presence, maintaining a dominant position within the album’s opening songs. However, the vocals, much like the instrumentation, begins to drift off into another landscape, blossoming into a subdued nature that refrains from being dominant, but rather choosing to float over the dreamy atmosphere forged by the musicianship. The gradually descending melodies of “All of This Will End” exemplify the airy progression of the vocals, ultimately culminating into the final track’s croons of goodbye.
Resemblant to that of a dream, Burst
’s cohesion often works against itself. Through repeated listens, the tracks begin to bleed together, enhancing the atmosphere but decreasing the replayability. Moreover, much like waking up from an abstract dream, only a few key moments maintain an impression in your memory. However, despite the album’s forgetability, the ambience and presence of Snarls’ first full-length is truly remarkable and genuinely beautiful. The culmination of each track’s individual effort and chemistry amalgamate into an experience well worth listening to.