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Snow Tires

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Album Review

Indie pop survivor Jarid del Dio finally secures solid label representation with Parasol's release of Snow Tires, his fifth album under various monikers and incarnations. Neutral Milk Hotel is still a big influence here, as del Dio's songs dawdle and coalesce with a similar disregard for structure, but with an uncanny knack for plaintive melodies and weirdly insightful turns of phrase. "All over town," he begins on "Casserole," "The flat-chested trailer brides/Their braces and bottle caps jangle like tambourines." And we can see del Dio wandering through the connecting yards and hanging laundry, dragging his white elephant of a failed relationship on a long fraying leash. "I Leave Stones Unturned" is a sparkly, bittersweet pop song driven by scratchy electric guitar, warm electric piano, and Roy Ewing's punchy drums. Its chorus is reprised offhandedly at the start of "I Knock Things I Haven't Tried," a quieter number guided by acoustic guitar, subtle synths, and what sounds like a sample of air brakes on a city bus. It's another side to the same argument, like the whispers after the screams. Maybe its del Dio's warbly, Neil Young-as-whiny-barista vocal, but Unbunny can at times suggest a sparer version of Mercury Rev, or even Modest Mouse. There's a similar sense of a psychological struggle twisting behind the tossed-off phrases and pop culture pipe bombs; the music is quieter, but informed with those same qualities of squinty indie pop. The gentle "FM" is a big, big standout, beginning with a kid's chorus harmonizing like a Lilliputian version of the Polyphonic Spree, and "Pink Lemonade" really plays up that Neil Young-ness, offering dusty acoustic strums and shuffling drums tickled by twangy guitar fuzz. Fans of smart stuff like Elf Power and Clem Snide, take note.

Customer Reviews

amazing

my favorite album ever. get it.

Great

This album is a delight and I never get tired of it.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Unbunny began in 1995 with the release of the Analog cassette. The Willis Files cassette followed in 1996. Analog and The Willis Files were re-released in 1997 on CD, on Tray Full of Lab Mice Records and Esque Records, respectively. Guitarist/vocalist Jarid del Dio quickly turned heads with his high-pitched, emotionally raw vocals, while drummer James Ess and guitarist Steve Haruch provided support for the lo-fi indie rock trio. Salt Water Records released the band's five-song vinyl single in 1997,...
Full Bio
Snow Tires, Unbunny
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