What is the best way to debut on a record label devoted to the sweetest of indie pop? How about naming the single after a hit song from the ’80s and covering that song as the A-Side? While it may not work for every band, it works almost too well for The Snowdrops. You’ve likely heard the original by Tears for Fears. You probably even like the Gary Jules cover better after seeing it in Donnie Darko. Well, look no further as The Snowdrops have created the ultimate version of “Mad World.” I would be absolutely thrilled to have a jet engine fall out of the sky and kill me while listening to this tune. No, it’s not as sad as Jules’ version. Or as quick as the original. It is, however, pure bliss.
“Don’t Buy Anything” is short and mystical. The ballad is the perfect B-Side the the synth heavy version of “Mad World.” Pam Berry (The Pines and numerous other groups) joins Keith Girdler (Lovejoy, Blueboy, Beaumont) to compliment his soft vocals on both tracks with her rich voice that will make you fall in love with The Snowdrops in an instant. The two songs compliment each other well and fit nicely tucked between the sheets of the retro cover art.
It is difficult for me to pick a favorite artist or album from the Matinee lineup. The label is likely to be the most widely covered on this site, at least by me. In our second week up, I’ve already reviewed Math & Physics Club and have recently finished others by The Lucksmiths and Lovejoy. It is no surprise, then, that matinee is one of my favorite labels. Despite the difficulty in choosing a favorite, I do feel safe saying that the Mad World single by The Snowdrops definitely ranks high as one of my all-time favorite singles.
This review was originally published June 16, 2006 on the old version of FensePost. It continues to be one of my all-time favorite singles.
Matinee Records [7″ Single, 2003]
1. Mad World [7″ Mix]
2. Don’t Buy Anything