SNOWBYRD: Self-titled: CD

Snowbyrd, not to be confused with the Byrds, likes to misspell things (I guess). Either that, or they like the association (the branding) that comes with linking their band’s name to that of one of rock‘n’roll’s greatest—the Byrds (Gene Clark [dead], Michael Clarke [dead], Chris Hillman [alive], Roger McGuinn [alive], David Crosby [fat as fuck]). That’s really awesome and a good concept. Snowbyrd’s filled with other brilliant ideas, like tacking on a press release to their CD detailing the following “Marketing Highlights”: “Print ads in No Depression, Big Takeover, and more”; “Radio Focus: AAA/ College broadcast, satellite, and internet…” All bullshit aside, here’s a quote from Jean Cocteau (dead) I like a whole lot: “I am altogether opposed to popular entertainment because I consider that all good entertainment is popular.” What Cocteau was getting at is that marketing strategies (hype) might last for an ephemeral moment, but works of great artistry win out. And that’s true. Take Larry Hardy from In the Red Records. That motherfucker keeps putting out brilliant records, and slowly but surely his label has risen. It’s like the Velvets or something—people will catch up; the Velvets are popular now, unlike Captain and Tennille. People will gravitate towards good art (if it’s available). (I think Hardy’s marketing budget is about the size of my old weekly unemployment checks, and he’s getting by all right). Anyway, my point is Snowbyrd’s album is at odds with itself—employing a Rolling Stone magazine-like press release to an album a thirteen-year-old reader of (insert fanzine’s name here) would like (a child of thirteen would probably like this record; it’s developmentally suitable to a teenager—just like the Spin Doctors were to me at that age). Snowbyrd’s debut is a collage of vastly different genres that don’t jibe together—a lot like that horrible band the Transplants, but not as bad. NOTE TO KIDS: If you don’t have them, go out and buy the Reigning Sound’s Too Much Guitar and the Starvations’ Get Well Soon. ADDITIONALLY: If you can’t write a song, play bass or keyboards or something. Hate your parents if they hate you. Love cinema and books. Hate rock critics.

 –ryan (Saustex Media)