SLUG Magazine’s collection of reviews covering the latest and greatest of Utah-based music, covering all varieties of genre, style and type.
Fail to Follow Self-Titled FTF = AFI + Sick of It All (neutered) More punk than most hardcore bands that decided they were good enough musicians to show off, Fail to Follow is not unlistenable at all—mediocre, maybe, but definitely not unlistenable. The lyrics aren’t whiny and the vocals actually sound like they have
Drug Self-titled Drug = Dub Pistols + ‘Quette Daddie’s casio Eclectic hip-hop outfit Drug engages old-fashioned movie clips mix with rumba beats, disembodied vocal samples, heavy beats and trilling flute stuff. However, the production’s flat and dead, and the vocal effects sound like Chipmunks zombies. Maybe Drug S5 stole ‘Quette Daddie’s Casio? Good production
Born Free Divine Madness Born Free = John Brown’s Body + The Roots Born Free mixes hip-hop with reggae, rock, world music, techno and drum n’ bass, resulting in a diverse amalgamation that’s Jamaican first. Divine Madness is layered over with heavy electronic beats and gospel/spiritual sermonizing vocals. No slick mainstream 50 Cent here.
Pelpp and A. Vanvranken Pedal Pelpp and A. Vanvranken = Worm is Green + Bjork’s Vespertine – vocals Electro-ambiance flutters in the deepening twilight; machines have warmth too. Like the sophisticated, emotional electronic renderings of Iceland’s Worm is Green, Pelpp and A. Vanvranken is minimal but powerful—knows when adding just one more note would
Theta Naught Abacus Eden’s Watchtower Theta Naught = Pink Floyd + Utah Symphony The opening track of the instrumental Abacus, “Ignition Switch,” reminds me of Pink Floyd’s “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” mixed with a bit of NIN discordance on the wavery, single guitar notes. The thick, layered strings weld perfectly with the guitar
Twelve State Killing Spree Demo TSKS = The Damned + _ Nelson + Teen Idols The underproduction and nasally vocals on this album make this sound like a recording my band I had in high school made—and that is not flattering. However, the early 90s (not over-) melodic tunes contrast the more-malevolent-than-your-typical-snotty/poppy-punk-band lyrics quite
Various Artists If You Do Clean People’s Ears Out Vol. 3 Eden’s Watchtower Records Eden’s has trimmed down its trad comp from two songs per artist to one, which means less Eden’s music, but makes it more accessible. DulceSky’s midnight-lush, 80s shoegazer “Media-Luna” opens up Vol. 3, followed by The Child Who Was a
Quant Crossies Count Quant = (Modest Mouse + Jane’s Addiction)valium Quant set out to make the most subtly-smart album ever and almost succeeded—or maybe I’m just not smart (patient) enough. The songs are all well and good with intricate instrumentation and thoughtful lyrics but they just go on and on and on—listening to this
Summerhead Liberation Eden’s Watchtower Summerhead = German EBM + A Different Drum Records Mostly instrumental Summerhead ranges from new-age electronica to synthpop to hip-hop to DJ dub trance to reggae, Enya to Natalie Merchant to Massive Attack. The coherency lies in the smooth production, the peaceful, slow beat structures that are one web holding
Various Artists Sound vs. Silence Vol. 1 S vs. S = Her Candane + Still Breaking Hearts + Goodbye Blue Monday + Joel Pack + Clarity Process + Still Life Projector + The Hifi Massacre + Danny Vesper Even if Sound vs. Silence doesn’t showcase the best bands in SLC, they have no lack of talent