Toronto instrumental band Fresh Snow’s debut album works well as the soundtrack to a variety of activities: writing, reading your Twitter feed, getting pumped for a night out. (I also tried napping to it but was frightened awake by French Horse Hall Of Fame’s explosive guitar squalls.) Which isn’t to say the motorik rhythms, cacophonous dissonance, whirs and horn blasts fade to the background. Anything but.
Songs are long and unhurried, marching steadily forward while pulling in new ideas, influences and directions. The four-piece smartly does not go completely down the noise rock road. Helix Pass is jaunty and danceable, To A Sea has a minimalist, twee sensibility, while ambient Los Vientos Del Tempo has breathy vocals (the only singing to appear anywhere on the album, from what I can tell).
But it’s the tense psychedelic rockers like the aforementioned 14-minute epic French Horse and 12-minute closer Saturation Complete, with its woozy pitch-shifting, that make you want to check out Fresh Snow’s next show.
Top track: Saturation Complete