Buzzbands LA : "Snowball II’s new album “Flashes of Quincy” is out Feb. 10 — their third full-length in a 12-month span. What’s in the water in Long Beach? We wonder."

Where do you start with Long Beach’s Snowball II? That they are named after “The Simpsons'” family cat? That when it is released on Feb. 10, the album “Flashes of Quincy” will be their third full-length in a 12-month span? That the band’s obviously caffeinated mastermind Jackson Wargo seems on a campaign to make the world safe for guitars again? The mind swirls. The pulse pounds. The now-vintage CDs by great power-pop and shoegaze bands of the past seem to stir on their shelves. It’s been less than three years since Wargo’s old band Jackson & the Wargonauts did a whole album of Magnetic Fields covers, and now this.

At any given moment — and in between groan-worthy puns like the song “I Doughnut Want to Live” from the second album “Doughnut Holes” — Snowball II recalls Nada Surf, Weezer, Sugar, Fountains of Wayne, Superdrag, Ride, Death Cab for Cutie, Brian Jonestown Massacre, My Bloody Valentine, Guided By Voices, Ben Kweller and Lilys. None other than Lilys’ Kurt Heasley guests on the new album; Snowball II had contributed two songs to a Lilys tribute released as part of the series of covers albums by The Blog That Celebrates Itself.

Snowball II has segued from dreamy and noisy on their first album “?” to dreamy and reflective on their acoustic-based sophomore effort “Doughnut Holes” to dreamy and ballsier on “Flashes of Quincy.” The new romp “Groan’s” is about a girl with Crohn’s Disease, and, yes, there’s another pun. As in a lot of Snowball II’s finer moments, you say to yourself, “I see what you did there,” and then you smile big.

Kevin Bronson | January 27, 2017

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