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Slothrust - The Pact

  • Published in Albums

The Pact is the fourth album from Slothrust since their debut in 2012, and it sees their musical evolution continue. Now relocated from Boston to L.A., the trio maintain their raucous, adventurous songwriting but meld it with a more mature and, dare I say, more mainstream sound. As well as indie heads and punks, fans of classic pop will find much to love in this record. ‘60s touchstones like The Beatles and The Who rub shoulders with Iggy Pop and Blondie, while the gentler moments hit the high notes of ‘80s sophistipop. Bryan Ferry and Hall And Oates, along with dozens of rarely heard but hardwired Sunday afternoon FM radio tunes underpin The Pact.

There’s a danger in casting your musical net so widely that the result can come across as desperate and eager to please but Slothrust sound like they are only out to please themselves. Nothing is done half arsed. ‘Birthday Cake’ out-Hole’s Courtney Love while the opening track, ‘Double Down’, burns like a dynamite fuse during the verses but the prechorus defies any expectations that have built up. The whistled hook pops up like a magician’s bunch of synthetic flowers. It’s dazzling, unexpected and it defines this album from the off.

The opening trio of searing alternative rock tunes gives way to a heartfelt and personal record that, in its openness and variety of sounds, reflects the very best albums of the post rock ‘n’ roll era. There’s as much an influence of Beck on The Pact as there is that of The Ramones. The juxtaposition of the punk rock chops and Jon Entwistle bass breaks on the rousing ‘Planetarium’ with the conventional but captivating ‘Walk Away’ is just one instance of what makes The Pact a record for all occasions.

Slothrust have taken the Max Martin songwriting rulebook and shuffled the pages into their own idiosyncratic but readily identifiable order. It’s always humbling to hear masters at work and The Pact is a work of stunning craftsmanship. Technique can be learned but instinct like this is innate.


Slothrust Announce Covers EP

  • Published in News

Slothrust ("Sloth-rust") is Leah Wellbaum (vocals,guitars), Kyle Bann (bass), and Will Gorin (drums). The trio first staked out their unique strain of jazz- and blues-afflicted rock as students at Sarah Lawrence College. The band's 2012 debut Feels Your Pain, and its successor, 2014's Of Course You Do, established the band as a breed apart, serving up deceptively clever epics that veer satisfyingly between incandescent riffing and pop hooks, winsome anxiety and powerful heft.

"People have always had trouble comparing us to other bands, but someone recently described us as Nirvana meets Wynton Marsalis, and I loved that," says Wellbaum. Even the band's name inspires a beat of thoughtful consideration as the eyes take in the letters and the brain makes its snap judgement: Slo Thrust? Slot Rust? Slo Trust?  Sloth-Rust.

We all studied jazz and blues, so I often use chords and voicings that aren't quite as conventional for contemporary rock," she continues. "Certain harmonic movement can get stale, so I try to incorporate colorful notes to give it more depth. The improvisational spirit of blues music is also something we try to always keep with us, even in more composed playing. I am drawn to musicians a bit further outside of the rock tradition, such as John Fahey, Elizabeth Cotten, D'Angelo, and Portishead. Growing up I listened to a lot of R&B and classical music. And musicals."

While Everyone Else clearly shows Wellbaum fulfilling her early promise as a singer, it's where she hits her stride as a lyricist: Pulling the listener under the surface to explore a submerged world brimming with exotic creatures. Water motifs abound, detailing oddly off-kilter observations about floating, submerging and drowning that are anything but morose. Instead, they contort and reflect worldly truths about life on dry land.  This midpoint between grunge and art rock is the aesthetic Slothrust elevates: sharp-eyed individualism, serious musicianship, humble intelligence, controlled abandon.


UK Tour Dates:

10/21/2017 Manchester, UK @ Academy 2*

10/22/2017 Glasgow, Scotland @ Garage*

10/23/2017 Leeds, UK @ Church*

10/24/2017 Birmingham, UK @ O2 Institute 2*

10/26/2017 London, UK @ Shepherd's Bush Empire*

10/27/2017 Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2*

10/28/2017 Bristol, UK @ SWX*

* with Manchester Orchestra


'Show Me How You Want It To Be' - Tracklisting

01. 'Sex And Candy" (Marcy Playground Cover)

02. 'Electric Funeral" (Black Sabbath Cover)

03. 'What A Wonderful World" (Louis Armstrong Cover)

04. '…Baby One More Time" (Britney Spears Cover)

05. 'Happy Together" (The Turtles Cover)

06. 'Let's Stay Together" (Al Green Cover)




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