Saturday, September 15, 2018

Slothrust :"the Pact"

Woah... these guys have come along a way. This is a much smoother and polished effort right off the bat with a stab at pop injected. Gone is the grunge rawness. It does get kicked up later in the first song, but the hooky alternative rock going on here is much different than my first taste of the band. I would not call it selling out. It's a refining that could open them up to a bigger audience, it's a natural progression I suppose as I could never find their last album. "Peach"reminds me of Hole slightly, and the entire tone of the album production wise in terms of guitar tone makes me think of Placebo, though more organic and less synthesized. "Planetarium" has more a punk kick to it that doesn't feel like them to me. The moodier more ballad like "Walk Away" is lyrically interesting. It also allows us to really hear her cut loose with her vocals , not in a diva like display but from an emotive place.

The album is highly diverse in terms of it's dynamic range going into an acoustic strum on "Birthday Cake". This builds into some thing would have been common place on alternative rock radio in the 90s. Think the Breeders. With the horns and the jangle of the guitar it's almost ska until things break down for the verse. At this point it feels a little too upbeat for me. Despite it's title "the Haunting" strums along in a pleasant way that Juliana Hatfeild would be proud of . There is a similar strum to "New Red Pants" , but I think there is more to this song. The bass player gets down and they threaten to rock out. I like the drumming on "Fever Doggs" it reminds me of the Police. They do remember their distortion pedals on this song. Heading into the two minute mark there is a metallic riff that is pretty cool.

"On My Mind" is another ballad that allows her room to really sing. She does her sing song talk through most of the songs. Which gives their sound a certain attitude , but I prefer the moments where she really sings. I had to listen to "Some Kind of Cowgirl" twice to really absorb it. I like vocal layering. There is more of a tenderness to her voice. It clears up any doubts in regard to her singing . It might be the albums most dynamically rich song. This is contrasted by them closing with the acoustic "Travel Bug", which reminds me of "Blackbird" . It is going to take some getting used to the change of sounds here. I will give this album a 9, as it's well done and hits the marks they set out to hit.

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