Snow Patrol warms their experimental sound

Evan Bakker

While most narrow-minded fans draw close comparisons between Snow Patrol and Coldplay because of their experimental qualities, an indie rock virtuoso would understand that they are completely different.

For instance, Snow Patrol plants its Irish roots (Coldplay is British) into every song and moves the songs forward with simpler, more concise parts. And their sound has become more and more polished with each successive release. The newest one, A Hundred Million Suns, takes the space rock ballads of their previous works and expands on them even further.

They possess a deeper, more pensive element which enhances their melodies and creates a down-to-earth feel that many of their Brit rock competitors lack. The lyrics are frank, the beats never stop driving, and the songs deliver a sense of wholeness and completeness.

The conclusions of each track contribute much to this effect. They bring out melancholy and euphoria as if to lull us into the next song. “If There’s a Rocket Tie Me to It” transitions perfectly into “Crack the Shutters,” the second track that begins with choppy piano chords and magnanimous, soothing loops.

At the heart of the album, Snow Patrol marches forward with mid-tempo ballads that usually begin with singer Gary Lightbody’s gripping melodies. Lightbody’s soft, communicative voice harnesses the atmospheric effects, pianos, and etheral noises that give the band space-rock quality depth.

Snow Patrol broke on the American airwaves in part because of Zach Braff’s tireless promotion, but also because of the care for which they approach their music. Cities ‘97 plays their previous album’s hit single “Chasing Cars” daily, but maybe now they’ll have more material from the Irish indie rockers.

With their fame now cemented, Snow Patrol has room enough to grow into a band of Coldplay’s stature while still holding on to their blistering Irish rock sound.