Stan Snow – ‘Into the Great Beyond’

Catching our ears with a variety of Sundogs tracks over the years, band co-founder Stan Snow stirs with his solo output via his new album Into the Great Beyond. His fusion of Americana and classic-minded rock makes for a comforting, melodic sound, with a tendency to rise from hypnotic ruminations into twangy hooks. The release features a number of notable collaborators, including Abe Laboriel Jr. (Paul McCartney), Valerie Pinkston (Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston), Lyle Workman (Sting, Beck), and Ben Smith (Heart).

“Fight” compels with its drive from breezy, contemplative charm into euphoric guitar twangs; the shift from lush to brisk plays with cohesive appeal, showcasing Snow’s knack for hooky songwriting that avoids predictability. Its lyrics proving impactful about the invasion of Ukraine and ensuing refugees, “Insanity Repeats” touts a similarly catching composure, with its dazed psych-inclined verses soaring into enthused guitar bursts. These tracks engross with their dynamic guitar tones, ranging from ardent classic-rock pushes to psychedelic whispers.

“Change” is a notable centerpiece, featuring all three of Abe Laboriel Jr., Lyle Workman, and Valerie Pinkston. “No one can show you the way through the maze,” the vocals let out amidst vibrant piano pushes, rousing into a soaring guitar solo past the two-minute turn. Snow elaborates on this track in particular:

“As our world changes day to day we have the opportunity to adapt and ask questions. Then, plot our course and our next move, in order to stay on the track that is most meaningful to us. Part of that process involves reassessing the way that we think. Should we change our mind about something? Are we too quick to judge? Is our way of thinking helpful or not? If people were more open minded and willing to see things from other’s perspectives, would there be less conflict?”

Stream and purchase the album exclusively via Bandcamp:

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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