So there seems to be not much more to Snailmate than punk rock drums, a live synth and vocals that straddle the line between spoken word poetry and rap, but the duo from Phoenix are endlessly entertaining. With their grassroots approach to selling record and touring, it’s also surprising how much attention they’ve gained in the last year or so. The duo have seen their self-booked tours including Phoenix Pride Fest, the Evel Kinevel festival and, most notably, SXSW.
Despite their self-booked tours and self-peddaled physical tapes and CDs, Snailmate’s music is beyond modern and cutting edge. A fusion of nerdcore punk, thought-provoking lyrics and extraterrestrial-sounding synths, Snailmate will likely be an acquired taste for many EDM fans. The idea of actual CDs and tapes being sold on the road is beyond anomaly for our almost entirely digital community, but this grassrootsapproach is not without its merits. Besides being interesting punk rock electronica, Snailmate may have unearthed a niche that will be intriguing to EDMers who also have a punk rock sensibility. Not to mention the lyrics.
It’s lucky that Snailmate have released a lyric video for “On You” and “Night Life,” the first singles off of their newest EP Existential Anxiety, as the vocalist speaks/raps far too quickly to catch it all. These “songs” border on spoken word or slam poetry with punk rock and electronic backing. They’re fast, come at a seemingly random meter, and make some heavy points. Existential Anxiety thus really requires the listener to stop and listen. In the style of King Missle or other nerdcore punk bands, Snailmate channel quite a bit of Zappa to make their punk electronica, so pay attention.
Snailmate seem to pretty much have their sound and forumla down, so it’s hard to say if they will merge their style more with EDM, but those who love all types of electronica will likely find them an interesting edge-dweller of the larger electronica scene. Definitely worth a listen.