Music Reviews

ALBUM REVIEW: Sno Babies (Music From The Motion Picture)

If you need something new to grip your attention during the indoor days ahead, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Sno Babies is a hard-hitting film looking at the impact of teenage drug addiction and the secrets people manage to seemingly hide from the rest of the world successfully. The Amy Winehouse Foundation is the official UK charity partner for the film; the charity support young people affected by drug/alcohol issues and offer support to those affected by it. The film, which is set for global release on 29th September 2020, is an incredibly powerful watch, with a jam-packed rock line-up providing the soundtrack. Artist royalties from the soundtrack are being donated to The Global Recovery Initatives Foundation (GRI) with matching contributions being made by Better Noise Music, which means that whenever the soundtrack is streamed or downloaded listeners are contributing to helping someone in recovery.

The story follows Hannah (Paola Andino) and Kristen (Katie Kelly) through struggles of teen-hood – family issues, relationship challenges and educational pressures with the added issue of a drug culture they’re unable to escape from. Soundtrack opener I Came To Party is performed by Deuce and sets the tone for the film, as the wild sides of Kristen and Hannah are shown with this rocky track. Exhibiting a gritty, rough energy it is abruptly brought to an end; as we begin see that when we decide to go out and have a good time there’s still a chance to for us to get burnt.

Moth fits flawlessly on this soundtrack, bringing a shadow of darkness with a tidal wave of guitar riffs and driving drums. The moth to a flame analogy is one which can be connected to the duo’s inability to escape their heroin addictions, maintaining subtle touches of their innocence in their childhood rooms. The actions of the moth here impact their future and whether their wings get burnt; “Like a moth to a flame, my wings burn away”.

Cory Marks has produced the catchiest track on the soundtrack with Outlaws & Outsiders, which is made for an epic driving scene setting the tone for an adventure. So, we’re glad our vision was brought to life; check out the most intricate guitar work across the release here. From Ashes to New with Broken summarise the feelings those struggling can experience, highlighting a pivotal point in the film which determines the course for the future. Broken’s lyrics, “I was standing in the dark, I was damaged from the start” make it impossible to not resonate with the pain being felt during these moments.

The Dirt’s Allen Kovac and Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx created the idea of the film, so it was only right that Nikki Sixx’s band SIXX:A.M. take centre stage across the soundtrack. We’re first introduced to them during a high adrenaline moment with Belly Of The Beast, capturing an area where nobody should be hanging out with characters who definitely aren’t your friends. The fiery, anthemic number is enough to make you get up and run away to somewhere far safer than where you are. Better Noise Music haven’t held back on getting a combination of both established and newer names on the soundtrack; one of these is Bang Bang Romeo with Shame On You. Here we start to see a hopeful twist in the film’s plot, but not before a sassy telling off is aimed at the duo: “I know exactly what you do to me” acknowledging a need for change to happen. One of the hardest to take in and most unforgettable lines throughout the film comes with “Heroin makes me who I wish I was”, leaving a lingering thought in your mind as the journey continues. 

The second part of the soundtrack looks into the recovery and withdrawal stage of drugs. Heroin(e) performed by Eva Under Fire is a clever play on words referencing both the drug and somebody seeking a saviour within someone else. Summarising the dynamic that has developed between Kristen and Hannah comes with the lyric, “I’m not responsible for your mistakes, there’s nothing I can do and you’re to blame”. As the film continues the impact of withdrawal from family, friendships and the desperate attempt to maintain a perfect life becomes clear, allowing the viewer to consider their own situations or even signs they could overlook without a second thought.

As the stories of individual characters become entwined, we see the bigger picture of Sno Babies: the importance of a support network and a reminder of keeping your friends close by checking in with them which, right now with everything going on in the world, is more important than ever. Escape The Fate with Walk On provides a song of hope, encouraging recovery and positive change that when things are going wrong, “walk on until the darkness goes away”. It’s uplifting, feel-good and the vibe of the release changes instantly to one of a positive outlook for the future, however long it may take to get there.

SIXX:A.M. with Skin is an emotive, captivating track about how the world views you without seeing the real you within, through lyrics such as “They don’t even know you, all they see is scars, they don’t see the angel living in your heart”. The simplistic piano backing soundtracks one of the most heart-breaking parts of the film which, although hard to watch, is a stark reminder that what we’re seeing is the reality of the road to recovery and the bumps along the way. It’s hard not to become emotionally invested in the journey Kristen and Hannah go through during the film, as we’re taken through the highs and lows of their experiences as a duo. Maybe It’s Time sees a supergroup of SIXX:A.M. Presents Artists For Recovery featuring Corey Taylor, Joe Elliott, Brantley Gilbert, Ivan Moody, Slash, AWOLNATION and Tommy Vext formed. This power ballad moment is everything we were expecting a line-up like this to offer: hard-hitting guitars; slick melodies; and a catchy, singalong chorus, about it being the time to tackle the issues in your life before it’s too late. Where can we sign up to join this group?!

Bad Wolves feature twice on the soundtrack. Better Off This Way is a sombre insight into how things may look happier from the outside for some, but this is when everything begins to crumble. Sober is the soundtrack closer, which goes from the point of view of the addict and then the loved one witnessing the impact the addiction is having on them. Summarising everything Sno Babies is about and what is experienced throughout the film, it oozes in positivity as you feel hopeful that the future will be brighter with a mutual understanding now obtained.

Sno Babies is by no means an easy watch, but it’s one which opens your eyes to the power of drug addictions and the journey that it can take many on throughout their lives, seeing how it tears their world apart alongside those around them leaving a trail of destruction. Each song on the soundtrack is pivotal to the success of the film, helping to emphasise feelings which aren’t spoken by the film, but instead are brought to life by the music behind them. Without sugar coating the problems which are going on within the world around us, Sno Babies still manages to find a way to remind us there is a light in the darkness and things can change within the blink of an eye. #LetsSaveLives

8/10

Standout Tracks: Outlaws & Outsiders, Shame On You, Sober

Written by: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for pop music, the seaside and writing about other people rather than myself.