Review: Sand Snowman - Moth Dream (2006)


artist: Sand Snow­man
release: Moth Dream
format: MP3
year of release: 2006
label: Woven Wheat Whis­pers
dur­a­tion: 45:23

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Sand Snow­man is a one per­son pro­ject from Lon­don, whose ini­ti­ator is cred­ited as “The Snow Snow­man” in the book­let. On Moth Dream, Snow­man dis­plays a quite ori­ginal mix of acous­tic and elec­tric gui­tar play­ing, vari­ous other instru­ments, and a lot of effects and manip­u­la­tion.

All of this is com­bined in a quite psy­che­delic and relaxed approach to music. On many of the instru­mental tracks we encounter a sooth­ing mix of melod­ies and effects, which both pro­duce the dreamy and shad­owy feel­ing that is also called forth by the album cover and the titles. On “Moth, Dream, Smokescreen”, “The Ser­pent­ine Suite” and “Fed­er­lin”, Snow­man shows some excel­lent gui­tar play­ing, some­where between clas­sical gui­tar and mod­ern inter­pret­a­tions, all slightly remin­is­cent of James Black­shaw’s work. Paired with the great ambi­ent and freaky atmo­spheres in some parts, this would make for quite an excel­lent album. Sadly enough, there is a down­side, and that is the part where the bass and per­cus­sion kick in prom­in­ently, espe­cially on “Ghosts of Dust” and the second part of “Light, Space, Shadow”. Some­how these parts are too ‘funky’ and psy­che­delic rock for my tastes. Not only because of the way they remind me of 70’s TV show theme songs (in a bad way), but most of all because they com­bine hor­ribly with the calmer parts of the album, greatly dimin­ish­ing the atmo­spheric poten­tial that these songs def­in­itely have.

This import­ant lesser point really bugs me, and pre­vents this album from being con­vin­cing. If you enjoy a bit of slightly cheesy rock in between, and you’re in a light mood, per­haps this won’t bother you as much. But, whichever way you turn it, this album is not suit­able as a 45-minute dream trip, which it eas­ily could have been. A missed chance.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Ghosts of Dust (6:45)
2. Moth, Dream, Smokescreen (5:08)
3. Light, Space, Shadow (8:57)
4. The Ser­pent­ine Suite (15:03)
5. Fed­er­lin (6:28)
6. A Brief His­tory of Humi­li­ations (3:02)

 

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