Built By Snow - Mega
Owain Paciuszko 13/01/2009
Sci-fi twee from Austin, Texas four-piece is full of 8-bit keyboard lines, 80s teen movie drums and memorable melodies for everyone to sing-a-long to. Opening with the instrumental Giant Robot Attack the pop culture references that pervade Built By Snow's music are bright and blatant like neon, but the band are unashamed in their Kim Wilde licks on All The Weird Kids Know or the same song's Bowie referencing stutters.
This twenty two minute, nine track LP is innocent and fun and has earned the band a wealth of fans who are eager to promote and support the group above and beyond (fans have designed the cover art, flyers, directed the music videos).
Highlights here include the none-more-Nintendo tune that runs through Implode Alright, joined by JP Pfertner's lead vocals and a processed succession of hand claps; it's an anthem for the beige brick Gameboy generation. Then there's the quite wonderful last track Attachment that is a sweet and subtle change of pace, and with a nice touch involving the sound of turning over a cassette.
For such a short album it occasionally runs out of steam as the same influences permeate each track, or the sentiments though sung in a vocal style similar to Conor Oberst's digital output lack the man's lyrical smarts. But it feels almost unfair to criticise the album for its lack of depth, because really it's fruit bubblegum and an entertaining, energetic and sporadically inspired pop record.