Local punk band Snoozer recently released their final EP along with the departure of bassist Paul Hewes, but vocalist/guitarist Mike Kelly and drummer Tom Kelly have teamed up with Kieran Farris of Krispy Kareem to form Pet. The EP, Life Sucks, is out now on Third Floor Tapes, and is an unpretentious, lo-fi representation of the folky Philadelphia punk scene. The band creates songs that are noisy and raucous, and that tend to stir up feelings of uneasiness and confusion. Those emotions make the release an endearing listen, and one that deals with topics like death and friends in a way that is equally clamorous and warm.
The band’s rough aesthetic is led by guitar hooks and lackadaisical vocal melodies, bringing to mind beloved nineties indie rock bands like Built To Spill that loosely yet energetically deal with existential thoughts. “Land Before Time” notably kicks off the EP with that kind of feel, with grungy, distorted riffs driving the song alongside Mike Kelly’s clean, high-pitched vocals. The lyrics are made up of zoned-out, daydreamy thoughts that contemplate everyday existence, with lines “in the land before time, time was everywhere” adding thoughtful layers to their accessible tunes. “Good Grief” also stands out as upbeat, with a galloping drum beat, strange guitar riff, and odd vocal effects. The song progresses with voice overs and a boisterous instrumental section, before Mike Kelly shares dark thoughts and the instrumentals slowly unwind into silence. Other quiet and totally successful moments come on “Harriet the Spy.” The track opens up harmoniously, with soft acoustic guitar and steady drums that set the stage for delicate vocal deliveries, “every time i look up i get put down by you / every time i wake up i drop out and act rude / unknown to my girl, my friends, myself / i’m already dead.” The track is the most chill of the four, but may be most successful in creating an enveloping atmosphere that draws in the listener.
Snoozer’s final EP is an entertaining listen, and one that mixes grit with melody to create songs that move with energy and whimsy. Their songs tend to be rambunctious and loud, while only moments later they can morph their earnest feelings into something more quaint and mellow. Overall, Life Sucks is a step forward for the band, and one that solidifies their reputation as a persevering, rough-around-the-edges indie rock band.
Image via “Good Grief” music video, directed by Conor O’Mara.