The task of uncovering authentic music among the modern slush pile of overproduction, ghostwriters, and illusive industry plants can seem impossible. But, every now and then, a band with a unique style and genuine voice will catch your attention. Margo Faupel and Ben Kornak are the duo that make up Snowman Fight, a band that exceeds those expectations and more. After meeting in a Music Business class here at Rowan University, Faupel and Kornak united in May 2022. Less than a year later, Snowman Fight has released their first EP, Twinklecore Episode 1. Clocking in at a tight 17 minutes, the EP features six songs that encapsulate the feeling of a northeastern emo existence.
The EP kicks off with an electric twang of guitar plucks. “Joey Motorola” is refreshingly DIY in nature. The instruments combine in a distinct way that instantly sets Snowman Fight apart from any generic local band. There’s no question that Faupel and Kornak have plenty to say. “I’m Not A College Dropout (It’s One Semester)” is classic in terms of youthful emo-based laments. It’s explosive from the get-go, and with the repeating lyric where they substitute their friends’ names in each chorus, “Lying on the floor of Liam’s (or Sammy’s, or Eddie’s) musty basement,” this track weaves together elements of hardcore, DIY, and emo music.
With only one EP out, Snowman Fight has already established signatures to their sound and style that make a song instantly identifiable. There is a particular pitter-patter plucking style of guitar playing that adorns songs throughout the EP. Most of their tracks have powerful, hardcore style breakdowns that are tailored for moshing. Together, it creates an intriguing combination that you can recognize from the first few notches.
“The Bug Event” has an energetic beat on top of which Faupel somewhat sings and somewhat talks their way through lines about the exhausting day-to-day of college life. It has a certain Violent Femmes quality to it until the last 45 seconds. The gentler guitar is stripped back to make way for crunchy riffs and satisfyingly aggressive drum beats.
The creation of Twinklecore Episode 1 has a youthful and energetic origin that matches the tone of the EP. Recorded at The Gradewell House during January 2023, Faupel and Kornak spent long days layering their tracks and enlisted the help of some friends to mix and master the EP. The organic and genuine desire to express themselves through music comes across in every aspect of the EP, from the lyrics to the composition, to the production.
A heartfelt and fitting closing track, “Cocoa Fire” rounds out the EP. The song features one of the most impactful choruses on the track list, “Don’t follow me to the ends of the earth ‘cause I’ve seen how it ends and I know how it hurts.” Following a cacophony-like, instrumental bridge the music fades away, leaving only Faupel’s whispered voice as it repeats the words, “I don’t need to be scared I’m not alone anymore.” With each passing refrain, the vocals and instruments swell, inflating with it the sentiment. The song ends with strength, a fresh breath of optimism.
Although Twinklecore Episode 1 is all we have for now, Snowman Fight says there are more songs and maybe even another EP in the works. In the meantime, they’ll be performing a number of shows in the area. You can check out Snowman fight on Spotify and Apple Music; and stay up to date with the band on their Instagram.