Snuggle! Holiday Heart LP
If this is your first introduction to SNUGGLE!, you’ve arrived at just the right time. I don’t say that to disparage any of their previous recordings (their full-length on 1-2-3-4 Go! is pretty fantastic, and they have a split with BENT OUTTA SHAPE), but more to heavily prop up this new release. Years ago I was neighbors with Jerome who sings in this band, which we found out by watching an abandoned squat house burn down in our shared alleyway together. I think the correlation here is that this band would watch the destruction of something so anti-capitalist, and still manage to pen an uplifting yet mournful anthem about it. The best I can think to describe SNUGGLE! is crust-informed pop punk. They have the speed that a lot of bubblegum punk lacks, but paired with sincere as fuck emotional lyrics about the human existence. I feel lucky that I’ve been able to see them play several times over the years, and am so happy there’s finally a recording of their song “Twinspeak.” The lyrics to this track are so emblematic to the comparison I made earlier: “Won’t let this be a crash and burn / From lift off, to return / Smoke rings fill the sky / Calligraphy to a night that understands / Understands gibberish.” It’s Aaron Cometbus’ modern day CRIMPSHRINE, but sung by a strong voice that’s raspy, nasal, and guttural. Sometimes Jerome’s voice breaks in a charming way that makes me think of what Bobcat Goldthwait would sound like fronting a punk band. They’re fucking great, and I’m stoked that we’re closing in on 2020 and there’s a new SNUGGLE! record in the world.