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July 22, 2024

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Designs For Automotion (Victory Records)

By: Jeb Branin

Widely regarded as one of the most hotly anticipated releases of 2000, SNAPCASE finally return with their first full length in about 3 years. How has VICTORY's flagship band aged since 1997's "Progressions Through Unlearning" album? Well the root of their moshable hardcore is still very much intact with a gigantic wall of riffs and screamed vocals making up the very core of their being. However, they have also evolved in many notable ways not the least of which is the significant improvement in making their tunes accessible and more palatable to a pop audience. They do this by dramatically increasing the melodic undertones of their songs and infusing them with an increased sensibility for hooks and memorable riffs. Long time fans may see the move as a bit of taming by the band, and to be honest, I would have to agree with them in a lot of ways but when push comes to shove I don't think it matters. Overall the sheer sonic "hugeness" of the new SNAPCASE sound is so powerful that it easily compensates for any mellowing on the band's part. Sure they may sound closer to post-hardcore than ever before but they are writing better songs and in my book that matters more...At least for a band like SNAPCASE who have made no secret of their desire to increase their audience base and exposure. Does the album live up to all its hype? You'd have to get the opinion of someone a little more into the whole upper echelon hardcore scene than I (and someone who cares about hype more than I) but is it what I expected from the band? Absolutely.
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