Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Snapcase - Lookinglasself (1993)

Hey all,

I havent been around much lately, but I also havent been giving much time to Zen. Its not that I dont want to, I've just been taxed on time, mentally and physically. Its the mental part that hurts Zen though. I never want to feel like I have to do this... meaning I dont want to write something that just feels forced. I have done that before, and I just dont care to do it. I write when I'm inspired to write, and finding inspiration has been difficult at times recently. Leave it to a classic album that at one time could make me super inspired to break me into another review.

I wrote this the other day for Amazon.... It was in response to the many reviews stating that Progressions Through Unlearning was by far the superior album, and that Lookinglasself was recorded terribly and other such things. I suppose at the time I wrote this I felt that alot of the reviewers may have gotten into hardcore either in the late 90's or even later, so my writing is aimed towards that direction.

"Nothing in particular about this album is epic, nothing about any of the musicianship is epic, and the vocals, while impassioned, certainly takes less skill than cooking an egg1.

When this band arrived on the scene in the early 90's, that was Epic. This band embodies a very particular time period of hardcore music in general. When Lookinglasself was released there was very little hardcore that was like this. There were a few bands kicking around, and some may lay this claim to Earth Crisis, but there was also Converge, Overcast, and the all mighty Unbroken2, all playing with metal in a hardcore format. But something about Snapcase always stood out to me. When I first heard them it was with Shelter, and if you know Shelter, you know theyre not a tough or angry sounding band. Ray got all the anger out of his system for a little while at the time3. So I was completely blown away when this band came on stage, all band members were around the same age, all of them were smiling, and they tore into the chunkiest hardcore I'd ever heard. Oh, it was metal, but yet still completely hardcore. It was an epic show4, hence my review title... 5

Now, "epic" in this case stands as a testament to space in time6. Had I not been into hardcore already and had I gotten into it later I might not understand why people held this record up for exaltation. It isnt amazingly recorded, and it isnt musically proficient (though Scott always had those awesome harmonic parts on the guitar) but hardcore isnt about either of those two ideals. It is about passion, and Lookinglasself is swimming in unbridled passion, for life, for understanding, for affirmation and you be hard pressed to find that kind of passion in a lot of hardcore nowadays.

To me, this is 5 stars7. It helped change the world of hardcore, with its choppy mid paced breakdowns... in fact, most of the album is based around heavy-as-shit breakdowns, and when they breakdown the breakdowns, then your basically moshing. However uncool you think moshing is, Lookinglasself will make you want to stage dive off of your bed and do some serious floorpunching8. Steps is also a great EP with one of their best songs, Windows, but Filter, Looking Glass Self, Incarnation and No Bridge9 are such hardcore classics, you should at least be checking this record out if you interested in knowing the growth of hardcore throughout the 90's."


I love quoting myself. Its almost as good as masturbation... So, its not the best written thing, but whoever claimed I could write? Not me. Shit, I have to check my spelling over and over again cuz I cant even type. Well, there are some things I could add. Maybe a few Footnotes, inspired in no small part by Sweet Baby Jaysus10.

1. Which is actually harder than it seems. You gotta crack the egg without getting any shell in the goop. Then, if your scrambling the egg, you gotta add a dash of either milk or water, to make them fluffy. Of course if  your frying an egg, it seems easier at first, but try flipping that egg without breaking the yolk. Yeah, lets see your passion come out in a scream... what?

2. and Intergrity, dont think I forgot. I suppose you could add Starkweather, and if you really want to suck you can add Cro-Mags for Best Wishes... I only say suck because that album sucks, if you disagree, fight me. 

3. Blame it on Krishna. Though I gotta admit, I kinda like the little blue guy myself.

4. I had gotten a concussion two days before and the doctor told me to rest and stay away from an rough-housing. So of course I went to a hardcore show. I ended up getting kicked in the head and being  pretty dizzy, but somehow the music made me keep going. I also have pictures of this show at home, so I'll scan those up and add them to this post.

5. It was titled "Epic"

6.  "a particular period in time" might have made more sense. but who cares?

7. This reminds me of a poorly written essay from grade-school. I would give me a D- for this kind of writing.

8. also windmills, those were so much fun, and you could easily go from a windmill into a floor punch and then back into a few more windmills... the ambitious kids could also throw in a kick.

9. can't forget Fields of Illusion. Awesome song...

10. Ten footnotes Jay. Beat that! LOL!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

YO! I was at that show! It was at that place in Brewster. The lineup was Snapcase, Shelter, and Mouthpiece. HA! Anyway, this album was amazing then, and in my opinion still holds up well today.
Sean M.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Who could give you a D-? As long as it's good and has passion.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anthony J said...

oh god - snapcase. i remember them. they were so crap that they were great, right? right. i saw them play at some butt-rock joint in miami beach in the early 90s. i was a pissy little prat from the burgeoning indie scene so i coarsely wrote them off in front of my friends but i secretly loved them. i managed to accidentally end up at, like, four or five shows of theirs and by then the jig was up. i just gave myself over to the windmills of death and scissor kicked all the way to happiness. lawls. good post.

12:56 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

"scissor kicked all the way to happiness"


8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

best wishes was a great albums shit lips----oh and id pat smear you ...

11:00 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

meh... a bit chugga chugga for me. The last couple of songs are pretty good though.

I'll definitely put some footnotes in my next post...

And blend, you (and other New Yorkers) should dig this book (new post on Steady Diet)

1:18 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! Please reupload Snapcase - Lookinglasself!!

7:17 AM  

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