Lo-Fi Country Alternative Rock

Album Title: 
Your Favorite Music
Band Name: 
Clem Snide
Release Year: 

One of my favorite itunes features is the ability to create your own genres for how to categorize your music. Some of my top inventions include, "high-powered acoustic folk rock," "almost reggae, but not quite" and "furry." But one of my all time favorite bands falls under the highly specialized category of "lo-fi country alternative."

This review goes way back in the bins to pull out the first major release from Clem Snide. Your favorite music is as about as mellow as your lo-fi country alternative rock album can get without falling into category of folk (actually Emmylou Harris's wrecking ball is pretty close too, but that gets pretty loud in spots). Clem Snide's front man, Eef Barzely (yes, eef) is a master craftsman at weaving together lyrics that are packed with illusions and imagery that is both serious and hilarious at the same time. The songs with lyrics that demand a close listening, as their subtle humor and clever quips, are lost on a large room. "The joke is there's one beer left/so the punch line is all we have to drink," sings Barzley in a soft slightly nasal voice that fits perfectly into the slack yelpings of the loose-jawed country singer. Yet it's not just the lyrics that make the group so appealing, but rather it's the ensemble of the band and it's words. At not one point on the album does an instrument seem to overpower the voice, or vice versa. This harmonious blend keeps the tracks concise as the finger picking droning out of the acoustic guitar.

When I first moved to New York, I saw Clem Snide play to a sold out crowd down in the East Village. The band took the stage and the crowd went dead silent. For the first five minutes of the show, we were all in dead silence as Barzely did an off the cuff accapela introduction into one of their newer tunes. As he incorporated events from the opening acts into his rhymes, we stood there entranced. Then, suddenly, the band came in together on the downbeat of their set. That same captivation that I held as an audience member is the same attention that I find myself giving this lo-fi country alternative rock album every time I listen to it.