Snow Patrol
"Final Straw"

(A&M Records 2004)Snow Patrol - Final Straw

There is hard and there is light. Snow Patrol seem to have discovered you can do both and still come off reserved. At least, that is the feeling they give on their album "Final Straw."

Snow Patrol ushers "Final Straw" in with the gentle melody of "How To Be Dead" as singer/guitarist Gary Lightbody addresses a hurt lover. Quicker with grinding guitar chords, "Wow" reminds of Idlewild as the band hit their catchy chorus and Lightbody delivers like Idlewild's Roddy Woomble, half singing/half speaking and with a hint of a Scottish accent, while "Gleaming Auction" is crunching, bass thumping rock and the unique "Ways & Means" is fun and takes some chances as a catchy chorus pounds. But not everything is nose to the grind stone as the band back off the heavy sound so as to include harmonies and a bright and clear sound on "Spitting Games" and "Chocolate." Snow Patrol also manages to include a few full sounding orchestral tracks, like the fragile "Run" and the blended beauty of "Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking."

Like a less bookish Idlewild, Snow Patrol may have an easy going sound, but do not mistake them for lightweights. "Final Straw" is full of subtly crafted melodies and understated lyrics that reveal more with each listen.

B

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