Milwaukee’s Snag came from crisis and anxiety. Environmental, economic, existential– their music represents the full-throated terror of living in a world that seems to have no regard for its own future.
Snag’s LP is in many ways the most pure distillation of their sound yet, a Welcome the Plague Year-esque driving and melodic screamo record with some of the most potent and motivational lyrics the band has put to paper. With the album opener dedicated to the memory of David Buckel– an LGBT rights attorney who self-immolated to protest the usage of fossil fuels in 2018– and profits from the jittery border-abolitionist anthem “The Only Rational Response” going to Voces De La Frontera (“Voices from the Border”), Snag shows their commitment to social causes is as strong as their commitment to adventurous, heart-grabbing music. Moments like the elegiac and uplifting interlude “Morning” as well as the gritty, off-kilter stomp and chaotic, yet yearningly melodic guitar work of “Hunger Stone” show Snag reaching a musical maturity that most screamo bands never quite make it to.
With album packaging that puts the responsibility in the listener’s hands– including a zine full of pictures and lyrics, a box of matches, and an envelope full of pollinator seeds– Snag evokes the tension of being an active and informed individual in today’s self-destructive world in every way. “It’s your choice,” they say. “I tried to tell you.” – Ellie Kovach