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#5: Built by Snow – Noise EP

May 1, 2008

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Built by Snow unites an unashamed nerdy sense of style with power-pop ripped straight from the record shelves of 1994. In fact the band describes themselves as ” rock music for smart kids, weird kids, rocket scientists, and NASA engineers.” That sure beats the tar out of any description I’m going to come up with.

A superficial listening to Noise conjures visions of Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and the Promise Ring without being completely derivative. The album is a little underproduced which lends itself to the memorable buzz saw guitar and synth riffs but ends up muffling the drums in the process. The songs definitely are hook oriented and well written and in that regard, I’ve had their punk rock anthem “Radio” stuck in my head for several days. Likewise, the opener, “Underneath” is definitely a power-pop ear pleaser. Overall this EP shows musical maturity and versatility without sacrificing youthful vigor.

What I enjoyed most about Built by Snow was their music videos. On their youtube account they have videos for “Underneath” and “Drag Away” and both videos give a glimpse into the inner geek of the band. The first video puts the band inside a video game and pay homage to some arcade classics along the way and the second combines zombies and outer space. While a bit amateurish, who cares? These are the kinds of videos bands should be making. I’ve seen the typical “band concert while something dramatic happens videos” and these aren’t that…these are much better, because they were creative, because they let the band be the band.

So check out Built by Snow. Go to their website, see their videos, listen on their myspace and if you dig it, buy the CD (available for sale on their myspace). I definitely recommend this band for fans 90s power-pop…and synthesizer solos.

Oh yeah…and if you’re reading this from Austin, Texas, GO SEE THEM.

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