SN!TA, the self-titled album by one-man-band Say No! To Architecture, is woozy, warm, and inviting. Groovy bass lines, far out vocals, and layered guitar hug listeners like a handcrafted Navajo blanket would form to their bodies on a dewy morning. For as sonically complex as SN!TA is, the record comes off as casual and rustic, with steady rhythms and a Western desert flair.
Simmering electronic starts “Wieder’s Floor” off, dissipating into a consistent, catchy bass line. Allen Roizman’s dizzying vocals capture an airy, hypnotic experience, like the commencing jam at a desert rave.
Similar electronic distortion is used at the start of “Bullet Proof Liquor Store.” It seduces the listener with subtle tambourine and a motivating rhythm that propels the track toward a climactic sonic horizon. Say No! To Architecture shines in the mobilizing build up and progression that presents itself on every song.
Western flair seeps into the record on “Get Sick,” which incorporates finger-snapping and shiny, sharp tambourine. The far-away vocals make “Get Sick” sound like a Western flick. It has a badass, Johnny Cash feel to it, but with spacey vocals. This vibe is further accentuated on “Cocaine, Eh,” where rattling tambourine shakes sound like the metallic clank of spurs hitting ground as our cowboy struts towards his duel.
Things turn a bit more alternative rock on “Detainees,” which is more hard-hitting than the spacier tracks, like the masterfully layered “Fall in Love at Tape Mountain,” or one of my favorites–the warm, lulling, yellow-colored “Hives.”
Each track on SN!TA allows itself to bloom. They ride on a perfectly straight, X-Acto knife-cut trajectory, like each track must reach its own sonic horizon by song’s end. And Say No! To Architecture reaches it each time. —Rachel Haney