Time is a Cure
After the release of three full-length albums, Snow Patrol caught the gig of a lifetime: opening act to U2 on their 2005 Vertigo tour. Snow Patrol, consisting of guitarist and vocalist Gary Lightbody, drummer John Quinn, guitarist Nathan Connolly, bassist Paul Wilson and keyboardist Tom Simpson, got their start in Scotland, and while they’ve already taken the U.K. by storm their fourth album, Eyes Open, could be the winning entry for the rest of the world. Open Your Eyes evokes the subtle build that U2 perfected; the consistent riff with precise and slight additions keep the attention on the vocals and lyrics. Stiff, heavy guitars grip attention in “Hands Open.” While the verses are formulaic to typical radio rock, the chorus proves more lighthearted than anticipated as Lightbody sings, “I wanna hear you laugh like you really mean it / Collapse into me, tired with joy.” There’s also a nice shout-out to Sufjan Stevens, requesting “Chicago” to be played. Contrastively, the chorus in “Headlights on Dark Roads” embraces that hook to make it sell, but the verses fall short.
Like a spoiler for a trailer that overexposes each good scene, the instrumental introduction to much of Snow Patrol’s tracks sets up big excitement for big disappointment. “You Could Be Happy” begins with layered bells evoking a dreamlike state. The beautiful instrumentation is matched by mediocre vocals that prevent any build. Similarly, the opening sequence to “The Finish Line” is uncharacteristically atmospheric while the vocals seem to hold no melody.
Snow Patrol possesses the goods to make it big, however they need to work on consistency. Eyes Open illustrates what the band is capable of, and hopefully their fifth will prove them unstoppable.