SLOTHS – Twenty Years

Ahh, let us just relax, kick back, put on the fire, turn down the lights, and relax with some nice post.  Every now and then you need some post in your life.  Honey, please hand me the post, it’s been a rough day, the kids are getting to me, thank you.  Dear, I’m not feeling well, would you be so kind as to serve me post in bed?  It is my birthday.  Of course, if you’ve been here for awhile, you expect us to pull out one of our legendary food analogies, but that’s not going to happen today.  When we say post it’s not the food conglomerate you believe it to be, it’s rather pretty much a required prefix in modern music to make anyone pay attention.  What do you play?  Ohhh, post  black metal, well that’s a different thing altogether, we’ve heard enough of the other kind.  Of these post-affixed genres, the hardcore variety has been exploding over the past five years, primarily in France, but now and again we come across some great stuff elsewhere, including Oregon, where there’s a pretty decent scene from what we hear, coming out of Portland.  SLOTHS would be from this aforementioned city, and they do their post in CAPS with plenty of that uncertainty and in-your-face netiquette that comes with it.  Twenty Years is their most recent effort, and it’s coming out on clear vinyl this month with a two-day release party of sorts planned in support (they already went on tour).  It’s a short one with a cover track (which we’re not considering for the review), but SLOTHS has what it takes to play with the best of the post, though there are some issues to mention.


Twenty Years has a vibrancy to it that goes from simplicity through power to more of a focus on dreaminess in a surprising way, but it’s easily explained with the opener.  “Elegy” starts in an unusual manner with SLOTHS slamming into the listener with, wait, what is that, shoegaze assault?  That’s probably the best way to explain it.  The chords sweep around in a massive way, but yet with such delicacy it almost seems out of place until they shift into a cutting riff and then back again.  There’s a lot of pressure here, both in the playing and the amount of digging required of one’s mind in order to pull the organization out of this absolute barrage of sound.  There’s also quite a bit of interesting genre-hopping, but in such a way that it’s seamless and almost something entirely new, with gaze-worthy structures suddenly kicking out into punk-patterned beats.  In fact, for this kind of music, there’s a lot more here than you’d expect at first sampling of the post, this takes post to the level of post-post without negating the term.


However, Twenty Years in many ways is something like the strange entity on the cover.  It’s amorphous and vague.  What is it?  Some visage of death in a cloak?  Or are we merely seeing what is in fact a whimpering master of the effay under a comforter?  That’s the thing, there’s a looming presence here, but it’s more gray than dark; it can at once look menacing and placid.  SLOTHS command some sick riffs and energy, it’s easy to see why the house shows they’ve played look so incredibly awesome.  But at the same time Twenty Years can be confusing for the wrong reasons; some of the moments of gaze are combined with the power of the stronger sections, and the overall sound of delicacy can cause it all to jumble together into something unnecessarily complex.  The beats suggest movement and force, but yet the atmosphere in front of them sounds like you should be pining away over the last gal who let you down.  The easy fix would seem to be balancing their superb mastery of shoegaze sections with more power, perhaps a simple bass boost in production so the listener can more clearly differentiate one section from the next.  It’s not so confusing that you lose focus, no, it’s that the entirety of Twenty Years can sound graceful when it sometimes needs to be a little nasty.  SLOTHS have an awesome sound, and regardless we’re looking forward to whatever they do, because behind the veil you can clearly picture these guys smashing things apart.


SLOTHS Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

SLOTHS – Twenty Years
The Ghost is Clear Records/Don’t Live Like Me Records/Illuminasty Records
4 / 5