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Snapcase - Designs for Automotion (Cover Artwork)

Snapcase

Snapcase: Designs for AutomotionDesigns for Automotion (2000)
Victory Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: GreenVandalGreenVandal
(others by this writer | submit your own)

3 years ago, when this CD first came out, I was incredibly excited about it. Finally, the follow-up to Progression through Unlearning! Which was one of my favorite albums ever. After popping this into my CD player the day it was available to me, I was appaled. The guitars were weak, the bass was .
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3 years ago, when this CD first came out, I was incredibly excited about it. Finally, the follow-up to Progression through Unlearning! Which was one of my favorite albums ever. After popping this into my CD player the day it was available to me, I was appaled. The guitars were weak, the bass was mixed so high in pitch you couldnt hear it, and the songs sounded boring. I gave up on Snapcase right there. And threw this CD in a pile on the side of my room where it sat for nearly a year. When I moved, I saw it, and for some odd reason, gave it another listen. Im glad I decided to do that.

Many people label Designs for Automotion as Snapcase simply repackaging there previous album. But in my opinion that could not be farther from the truth! This album has a dynamic to it that many people who listen to it for the first time never seem to realize, that this could almost be considered a concept album.

This whole album sounds mechanical not as a side effect of bad song writing, but in a effort to further convey the message of the lyrics!

Designs for Automotion is mainly concerned with comparing humans to computers, and how we should start to live rather then simply work and do as we are told. It is a positive message set inside of a negative example, which makes the message many times more powerful when it is found by the listener. Everything on here is played unbelievably tight, its ridiculous how flawless and almost processed some of this stuff sounds. And the Singer has almost a robotic rasp on top of his signature vocal style to further lend to the atmosphere. It could almost be compared to industrial, but I wouldnt go quite that far. And of course, the lyrics are personal, insightful, and smart, which can be expected of a Snapcase album.

As a concept this album works beautifully, musically it is good but flawed. Target, Typecast Modulator, Twenieth Nervous Breakdown, and Break the Static are all awesome. But the rest is either pretty average, or just not very memorable. There are no out and out bad songs, but only a few greats. Normally I would give this album a 8 or a 9, but I have yet to mention its greatest downfall. The mix.

The mix on this album is bad. Almost horrible, but not quite. The bass is almost completely inaudible, making the songs sound hollow with only the kick drum giving them any weight. And the guitar is rather low and high pitched in the mix, making them lose there heaviness as well. The songs are not as heavy as they should be because of the mix, which makes them lose a bit of there power, but the drum mix is nice with a good poppy snare, and the vocals dont overpower anything, so it doesnt ruin the experience.

In the end, this is a album you wont like on initial listen. It sounds fake and mechanical, and the guitar sound isnt as heavy as you would expect. But upon further listens you might just hear the heart beating inside these songs mettalic shells. And thats when it becomes great, and distinguishable from the rest of the Snapcase catalog. I only wish the mix was better...but its still a good album, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a deeper or more complicated listening experience then is the norm.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Snapcase - Progression Through UnlearningSnapcase - End TransmissionSick of it All - Yours TrulyPropagandhi - Less Talk, More RockThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeBad Religion - SufferThe Weakerthans - FallowOperation Ivy - Operation IvyRise Against - Revolutions Per Minute

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Piebalding (November 19, 2004)

This is their best album in my opinion although End Transmission comes close despite how many will say it sucked only because it was a little "different." "Bleeding Orange" is by far the best song on here. And the video for "Typecast Modulator" is cool as well.

Kurt_F (February 22, 2003)

I thought the mix was fine...Anyways, "Ambition Now" is one of my favorite songs ever. What a great song, I'm suprised nobody has mentioned it.

I really like "Coagulate" on the new cd too. Mmmmm, thoughts.

GreenVandal (February 22, 2003)

to be quite honest...I really dont understand what anybody hears in Lookinglasself. I saw it at the store last month and finally bought it, and i was completely underwhelmed. Snapcase used to sound like a slow paced hatebreed with a bad singer. The lyrics were still good, but I really did not like the music at all. And whats up with the second and first songs being on the same track???? (or wasit the second and third...i cant remember) The second (or third) song is the best song on the thing, and i gotta sit through the first (second) song to get to it!

Anonymous (February 22, 2003)

Bleeding Orange is by far the best song on this CD.

I like this CD but I like Progression the best.

I don't really like End Transmission that much, it seems like a sit around smoke pot CD and I don't do that shit because it's for dirty hippies.

turdcorn (February 21, 2003)

Good Review. I would have given it three stars. End Transmission is my fav also, but why isn't Lookinglasself getting any love?

recordings (February 21, 2003)

youre dead on with the description of the bass tone. ive made some bass tabs of this album, but it was a chore trying to hear anything coming through. still, ive always liked this one a lot, probably more than end transmission.

this record is a really good bridge between progession through unlearning and THE concept album, being end trans. you can hear the beginning of experimentaion, as well as the pure raw power that drives progression.

GreenVandal (February 21, 2003)

well yeah...i could see why you would say that. But its all preference i guess. But "Exile Etiquette" and "Believe, Revolt!" are just the absolute best songs i have heard since the begginning of the new millenium. (admittedly thats not that long...but still)

Anonymous (February 21, 2003)

I have to disagree. While I liked End Transmission a lot, i don't think it's as good a full and flowing album as this or Progression through Unlearning

GreenVandal (February 21, 2003)

Yay, everyone likes my first review :) thanks for the compliments. And yes, End Transmisison is much better then this CD...hell its much better then most CD's out there!

Vien (February 21, 2003)

I got this album right after I heard "Progression Through Unlearning", which was a masterpiece, but listening to this album after didn't really meet up to my expectations. This album is pretty decent though, but "Unlearning" was one of thier best works I thought.

Hamish (February 21, 2003)

I think this album follows a formula a bit too much. Almost every song has that exact same pattern to it. When I get a CD like that, I tend to pick out my favorite 3 or 4 tracks and then ignore the rest. It's solid, but I don't love it nearly as much as Progression or (especially) End Transmission. I really, really love End Transmission.

Anonymous (February 21, 2003)

I like "End Transmission" a lot better.

This isn't bad, though.

-Bryne at school

evildeadalive (February 21, 2003)

I loved this album right from the first time I heard it.

Anonymous (February 21, 2003)

This CD fucks shit up, but the writer is correct it takes some time to get used to. I was a little disappointed when I first heard this CD, becuase I liked Progressions so much, that this was sort of a let down.

That was until I saw Snapcase perform about 6 songs from this album live at the 2000 Warped Tour in Denver. After that I went back and listened to the CD again and was hooked...

I still haven't gotten to this point with their newest album...

Anonymous (February 21, 2003)

Atleast they don't suck as bad as Strife.

Anonymous (February 21, 2003)

end trans.. its a great cd. i think its way ahead of this time. it would be amazing in a few years, they are jsut setting the bar for what progressive hardcore will become

Anonymous (February 21, 2003)

this was snapcases's downfall

pope_schlomo (February 21, 2003)

This CD was better than "End Transmission". This band and Waterdown are the only stuff I'll listen to on Victory.

Ramo

Anonymous (February 21, 2003)

Good Review. I freakin love this album. The mixing doesn't bother me as the guitar often overshadows it in the background anyway. Great lyrics, much fun to sing along to on long car drives, or scare office co-workers with.

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