Thursday, March 1, 2012

Snowing: A Brief Retrospective

When John Galm took the stage with his three bandmates on November 25, 2011, he found himself surrounded by hundreds of his best friends - most of whom, myself included, were complete strangers to him.  As the Lehigh Valley foursome played through nearly their entire discography to that point, the band often drowned out by the flannel-clad throng that sang along, everyone came to realize that this really was the end of Snowing and that it would be okay.  Snowing's final moments were exactly as anyone would have expected them to be, concluding with a gratefully intoxicated but hopelessly choked-up Galm hoisted atop the heads of his fans and friends, his consenting frame hovering gracefully around the basement of First Unitarian to the backdrop of Vera Lynn's 'We'll Meet Again'.  Even though it seemed as if Snowing had left every last bit of themselves in downtown Philadelphia that night, posthumously releasing one final 7-inch was the real nail in the coffin and their farewell gift to fans.

Though released after their fateful disbandment, the Pump Fake/Scherbatsky 7" represents exactly what Snowing stood for and the reasons so many came to adore their unique blend of modern emo with Pennsylvania knuckle-dragger sensibilities.  Despite spanning a mere eight minutes and offering only one previously unreleased track, the EP is everything that anyone could hope to hear from so endearing a group as Snowing.  Side A, a remastered version of 'Pump Fake' from 2009's Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit, is an effective improvement on an already unparalleled track, with enhanced production bringing the guitars to their full-noodle potential and some more seasoned vocals from Galm making the track that much more of a treat.  Even from the grave, Snowing managed to improve upon something they had already mastered in the past, a reinforcing notion in the wake of their departure.  'Scherbatsky' also lives up to the Snowing legacy and standard, with a jaded-as-ever Galm proclaiming his plans to "Stay inside and criticize and drink enough to make up for the new year."  It's a great parting gift from a great band; and although it seems easy enough to lament their absence, it's worth considering what Snowing would want us to do.  Would John Galm & co. be stoked to see a couple hundred kids sitting around their parents' basements bummed out about a band that once was or would they rather watch those same kids jump around and sing along to the bands that still are and the ones that are to come?  Remember Snowing but don't dwell on them; forgive them for leaving but don't ever forget what they gave us in a mere three year span; perpetuate their legacy but allow it the closure that Pump Fake/Scherbatsky provides.  At this point, we owe it to them.


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