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“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

Part-time, Part Mammal

The local post-punk outfit Part Mammal wax nostalgic about their beginnings, and their favorite watering hole.
Part Mammal practices at Elliott Snyders home on Monday June, 22nd 2013.
Image by Jaak Jensen
Part Mammal practices at Elliott Snyder’s home on Monday June, 22nd 2013.

Every band needs a meeting spot. Between beers and bocce ball, Part Mammal first bonded at the Nomad World Pub. The West Bank bar has been the band’s natural habitat since 2010.

A sign at the bar already pronounces the end of the four-piece. “Part Mammal’s Last Show,” slated for August 4th, reads the chalk. This statement’s not quite true.

Though drummer Nick Olson is about to leave the band for Oakland, singer Elliott Snyder said Part Mammal will continue on.

“Goodbye, nostalgia,” Snyder sings on one track, but looking around the Nomad, he can’t help but feel a bit sentimental.

“Nick’s the one who brought us to the Nomad,” he said. “This was a good place for us to grow as friends and as a band.”

Snyder, who also plays guitar for The Shakin’ Babies, first recorded a swath of solo material before playing with the rest of the band.

Part Mammal began recording their first and only album as an outgrowth of Snyder’s senior project at McNally Smith College of Music. Usually, students will produce an outside band’s material.

“But I had a record I always wanted to make,” he said. “I had always wanted to dig in and do everything in a professional studio.”

Old demos from Snyder’s high school days, inspired by the psychedelic complexity of Caribou, needed reworking. With his coworkers and band mates, he recorded “Return to Lucky Star” last year.

“Everything’s a little more simple,” he said. ”I think I let go of doing overly complex ideas to a certain extent.”

With help from Hollow Boys’ guitarist Ali Jaafar and his class, intricate melodies were simplified. “Exploring Time Split” employs spare surf guitars as naturally as Deerhunter.

“I feel like the live band has pushed me towards a more focused, cleaner sound,” Snyder said.

Part Mammal traded luxury for convenience at the group’s first practice space. They’d hone the “Return to Lucky Star” material in the building across from the Nomad.

“It was basically an oversized closet,” bassist Sean Tobin said.

Andrew Jansen of Crimes also played with Part Mammal for a short time, a like-minded local guitarist with a penchant for minimal jangly tunes. Tobin also shreds for post-metal group Lungs. Tobin said his background lends to a heavier edge for Part Mammal.

“It’s definitely gotten more aggressive,” Tobin said.

This doesn’t mean the band’s all business. They’re known to fill their practices with “musical in-jokes,” or as Snyder and Tobin described, weird improvisations with the sole attempt to make each other laugh.

“We were just talking about this at our last practice,” Snyder said. “No one else gets this. We think it’s pretty funny, but where does that get us?”

Though the current iteration of Part Mammal’s about to end, the group always has their countless shows to (hopefully) remember.

“We’ve all spent way too much money here,” Tobin said. “We’ve all spent way too many times just wasting the day getting wasted.”


What: Part Mammal with Gloss and Some Pulp

Where: Memory Lanes, 2520 26th Ave. S., Minneapolis

When: 10 p.m., Friday

Cost: Free

Age: 21+

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