Album Review: The Snorts’ “DORK FACTOR”

ALBANY – Releasing DORK FACTOR on August 15th, pop-punk outfit, The Snorts, put out one hell of a bangin’ EP. In just six songs, while oscillating between alternative rock and blistering punk ethos, The Snorts demonstrated a masterclass of precision and energy, with strong vocals to boot!

Heavily overdriven and palm-muted guitars start this album opener, “WALKING INTO WALLS,” with the full band coming into a galloping roar soon thereafter. The production, especially with the vocals, combines the ethos of punk with the sensibilities of new-age sheen and clarity. The performance across the board is exceptionally tight, thumping, and rocking. The Snorts utilize starts and stops to make an otherwise straightforward tune much more interesting.

Following with “LOGGERHEADS,” the genre takes its first shift away from punk to that of a more alternative sound. There are glimpses in the guitar tone of bands such as Dinosaur Jr. and the like. The choruses of this song allow the vocal to really lift; strong, and fully in a high register, it’s a really compelling aspect of the tune. Ending the tune with a lo-fi acoustic outro is an effective way to switch up the energy.

If the band veered from punk with the previous track, there’s an immediate return with “HEART, ATTACK!” Every instrument in this arrangement is played very aggressively; the bell on the ride cymbal is being smashed, as is the kick drum. Super punchy and very enjoyable for this listener. The oscillating genres feature a bit of an amalgamation with the next track, “TURN THE LIGHTS ON, PLZ.” Combining the snarl of alternative instrumentation with a punk-styled vocal, the song showcases two of the band’s overarching musical themes. At times, there’s even a hint of an emo influence seeping into the track. While the album is extremely solid thus far, the last two tracks really shine.

The hard-panned guitars—one heavily distorted on the left and overdriven on the right—make “MESSAGE ON THE MACHINE” extremely lush in tone. The blast beats greatly propel the already frenetic tune into another level of energy altogether. For those who claim punk music is simple, I defy them to play this palm-muted part with the same level of precision and speed. Holy hell, is it impressive! Having the instruments drop out, save for the drums, towards the end of the song definitely catches the ears of this listener; it’s a nice arrangement choice.

Though hardly a laidback tune, the closing track, “HOLD ON, ONE SEC,” chugs forward at a nice, steady clip. The last stanza of the tune, which leaves the song feeling almost unresolved, musically speaking, really stands out to my ears: “Sometimes I snap/Sometimes at you/I’m a little kid learning to tie my shoe/It feels right at the time.” There’s a simple elegance to the meaning between the lines that I really enjoy.

With DORK FACTOR, The Snorts crafted an EP rife with infectious energy, along with strong songwriting. Fans of punk and alternative music should definitely give this record a rip. Check it out for yourself here!

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