This is one oddball album. I say that as the highest compliment, really. Flashes of Quincy from Snowball II is the sort of skewed indie that few acts can entirely commit to, much less pull off. But this lot have succeeded in making something that is full of wildly creative bits and big, brave hooks.
If "Anais and Me" sets the stage, "Groan's" kicks things into high gear. Sounding like some weird combination of early Cheap Trick and Ariel Pink's stuff, this number is a blast. On the superb and instantly-catchy "CR-VUC" the band is joined by Kurt Heasley from Lilys on backing vocals. Less shoegaze and more lo-fi, this number was the clear highlight of Flashes of Quincy for this listener. Later, on the languid "Your Occasion", the tune stretches out like one of those classic Olivia Tremor Control numbers, all warped-yet-beautiful guitar lines. If "Meet Yr. Dad" is fuzzy power-pop, all weirded-out takes on early Guided By Voices styles, then closer "Is All" is the attempt to make something more expansive and vaguely psychedelic. Bits of early Grandaddy show up here, as do flashes of Syd Barrett-esque song-craft but the best bits on this track, as on the rest of this Snowball II album, sound utterly unlike any other band at work these days.
Flashes of Quincy is out on Friday. More details can be found on the band's official Facebook page. This album was a pleasant surprise for me and I am sure that the band's brand of skewed power-pop will appeal to listeners looking for something more than just the usual indie-pop.
[Photo: Sienna Rose Moffitt]