Fleetingly mysterious but consistently intriguing enough to keep us captivated even by its most minor of details, the instrumental intro to Snuttock’s “Stay (Robot Mix)” is about thirty seconds long and menacingly simple. There’s a darkness haunting its seemingly upbeat tempo that will grow with the addition of a bittersweet lead vocal soon enough, but in these initial moments we feel nothing but the pure angst of the synthesizer and punchy percussion as they dance with one another in perfect synchronicity. Snuttock aren’t a household name, but their precision suggests that their four albums and eighteen years of recording experience have made them into true professionals on every front.
In the music video for this single, continuity is implied through the fuzzy chaos that protrudes from imagery into instrumentation and never through and theatrical props (as would be more common of a more commercial act’s style). “Stay (Robot Mix)” sometimes feels like a parody of consumerism in the sense that it utilizes absurd indulgences to emphasize the humble compositional structure of the music at hand, in turn resembling a systemic need to constantly buy and enrich one’s life with pointless excess. It’s poignant and rousing in ways we’re not expecting it to be, which is what I always want out of a good alternative rock song.
Snuttock have been around for a long time, and I think that staying engrained with the indie community as opposed to mainstreaming their sound has allowed for them to develop their music in a fashion simply impossible for those bankrolled by a major label. “Stay (Robot Mix)” is an ascension towards sonic enlightenment over the bright lights and heavy play counts of the sellout crowd, and while it’s not likely to make them bigger players on the international circuit, it definitely solidifies their place in the pantheon of their generation’s underground music culture beyond dispute.