When it rains, it also snows.
At least as far as foreign performers go, they all come here one after another. One day after the Smashing Pumpkins are expected to raise the roof of the Smart Araneta Coliseum, another group will bring their own edgy brand of alternative rock to the Big Dome.
Best known for “Chasing Cars,” the anthemic rock ballad that catapulted them to international stardom when it was used in the second season finale of the top-rated medical drama, “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2006, Snow Patrol is a Northern Irish band that has been around since 1994.
It’s a song that has become both a blessing and somewhat of a curse for the band. While it has become their biggest selling single and was nominated for a Grammy twice (Best Single, 2006 and Best Rock Song, 2007) for two consecutive years, it has also led the band to be best identified with brooding ballads, something lead singer Gary Lightbody is not always very pleased with.
“That we’re dull, that’s the impression that I get from reading music magazines and that’s a big misconception,” he recently told Metro UK. “Snow Patrol are a load of fun, we get to play our music all over the world and have a laugh with our friends. That life isn’t available to many people, and I feel very blessed.”
They weren’t always this blessed, though. Formed back in their university days in Ireland, Snow Patrol initially gained critical acclaim for the first two albums, “Songs for Polarbears” and “When It’s All Over We Still Have to Clear Up.”
After paying their dues as reputable indie rockers, Snow Patrol went on to greater commercial heights with their third album and first major release, “Final Straw” which featured their first bonafide hit single in “Run.”
But it wasn’t until the release of their 2006 MCA Music breakthrough album, “Eyes Open” and, of course, “Chasing Cars” that they became a household name worldwide.
In describing what he calls his “purest love song,” Lightbody said it actually refers to a girl he used to be infatuated with. “You’re like a dog chasing a car. You’ll never catch it and you just wouldn’t know what to do with it if you did,” he said at the time.
With their current line-up of Nathan Connolly on guitars, Paul Wilson on bass, Tom Simpson on keyboards and Jonny Quinn on drums complementing Lightbody also on guitars and vocals, the band has developed a dense sound often compared to U2 and Coldplay. This isn’t surprising as Lightbody has repeatedly acknowledged both bands as a heavy musical influence.
For their latest release, “Fallen Empires,” Lightbody says the band is trying to experiment on a new, electronic-heavy sound as evidenced by the singles “Called Out in the Dark,” “This Isn’t Everything You Are, New York,” and “In the End.”
“We wanted to make a massively ambitious record, a record unlike any other we’ve made before,” Lightbody declared. “We started writing songs that were more playful, even rawer than before. We were brave enough to do what we wanted as a band, rather than what convention dictated to us.”
It’s not like anybody is going to mistake them for New Order or Depeche Mode anytime soon. But “Fallen Empires” does show a welcome progression from their usual musical fare and if anything, proves that Snow Patrol is anything but dull.
“Snow Patrol Live! In Manila”will take place on Thursday, August 9, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and is presented by Dayly Entertainment, That’s Ntertainment Productions, LAMC Productions and Rockstar Touring.
“Fallen Empires” and other Snow Patrol albums are available in CDs exclusively under MCA Music available at Astroplus and Odyssey Music and Video or online via iTunes and www.MyMusicStore.com.ph