Stöj Snak

Life, Death And Everything In Between

Written by: PP on 27/03/2021 15:36:57

The troubadour-esque acoustic folk-punk of Stöj Snak has been charming the local Danish scenes for about a decade now thanks to vocalist Niels Højgaard Sørensen's unique style that's been categorized as screamer-songwriter. He pulls from the classic singer-songwriter genre of acoustic guitars and minimalist soundscapes, but then dramatically expands on that platform through strained vocals that border screams, punk-laden tempo, and hardcore-laced instrumentation. Whoever knew tambourines and washboard could be associated with punk rock like this? Through brilliant releases like debut album "ScreamerSongwriter" and the 2012 EP "Songs About Beliefs " EP, as well as vibrant live performances, Stöj Snak has become a staple in the Danish scene over the years.

Sophomore full-length "Life, Death And Everything In Between" is where it all comes together. Now a fully-fledged quartet, the soundscape has grown into a rich, mature product ready for international audiences. Characterized by its chaotic instrumentalism (drawing parallels to Jeff Rosenstock at his most messy), the expression is a vibrant, eclectic mixture of multiple genres where the word instrument is liberally used throughout. Other than bells, double bass, banjo, cello, triangle, tambourines, maracas, and washboard, the liner notes even mention "a piece of paper" as an instrument in one of the tracks, highlighting the cacophonic, yet incredibly vivid and enjoyable folksy atmosphere that Niels & co can muster here.

Most of it all still revolves heavily around Niels' coarse vocal style and his incredibly on-point sociopolitical commentary. With lines like "it takes courage to die for your ideals but dedication to live by them" or "we vote for changes and bright promises but only those promises seem to change", the lyrical universe is back-chilling and made more so by the frequent use of whizzing harmonica and other folksy instrumentation. It's a rowdy, unassuming, and clear-eyed take on how the world looks like today, delivered through a lens of understanding one's own social status and privilege in the process. It's this unique twist on troubadourism that ensures Stöj Snak remains one of the most unique bands around right now.

In terms of songwriting, tracks like "Trees" highlight everything great about folk-punk as a genre. Catchy and upbeat, its aggressive acoustic guitar shredding gives it a different flavor from Frank Turner's polished version of the same, even though references to his early albums as well as work by the likes of Against Me! and AJJ (ex-Andrew Jackson Jihad) are present. The lovely harmonica melodies and maracas shaking on "Bliss Point" are beautiful, even more so in a live environment, and the same goes for cuts like "Wants/Needs" or "This Condition".

If anything, "Life, Death And Everything In Between" cements Stöj Snak's status as one of the best bands Denmark has to offer, and it wouldn't surprise me if based on this album we'd start seeing some international pickup as well. Troubadour anthems never sounded this good.

8

Download: Trees, Bliss Point, Wants/Needs, This Condition, Fire
For the fans of: AJJ, Frank Turner, (old) Against Me!, Jeff Rosenstock
Listen: Facebook

Release date 23.10.2020
5FeetUnder Records

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