Snow Patrol: Snow Patrol
By DaVe Lipp, on 12 Dec 15, 2012
Disclaimer: This is not a new album. Snow Patrol released two albums on Jeepster Records before the label dropped them and they went on to sell millions. A decade later, the label has put out a compilation of songs from those records, Songs for Polarbears and When It’s All Over We Still Have to Clear Up. This album, vaguely called Snow Patrol, is a blatant money-grab.
Those two albums were melodic but chaotic, drawing influence from Super Furry Animals as much as Sebadoh. What Jeepster’s done here is sell these albums short by picking almost exclusively slow, quiet songs, which makes the first half of Snow Patrol lull. This pacing isn’t an issue on Songs for Polarbears or When It’s All Over. To sweeten the pot and compel fans to buy this, the label’s thrown in two previously unreleased tracks, “Santa Maria” and “Even Touching Dundee.” They’re okay but not as great as the album tracks, and they’re not worth the price of buying Snow Patrol just to get those.
Having said all that, the songs themselves deserve appreciation. You won’t find anything like “Chasing Cars” here, but instead the more fractured aspects of relationships and longing. Opener “An Olive Grove Facing the Sea” is a gorgeous, trumpet-infused plea to end the loneliness, while “Fifteen Minutes Old” is an ode to a newly born child. “One Night is Not Enough” expresses the frustration of being used, while “When It’s All Over We Still Have to Clear Up” clatters into distortion and contrasts the calm of vocalist Gary Lightbody’s voice with his rage at a new man in his love’s life.
My recommendation is to buy Snow Patrol’s first two albums rather than this. You’ll get far more songs, and someone will have bothered to put them in a decent order. If you want an intro to their old stuff, you could try this, but embrace the shuffle button.