Slothrust was entirely off my radar until I saw this pic on Instagram.
When Johnny Stevens of Highly Suspect has a band’s name carved into his flesh and speaks of them with such love, I pay attention. Looking into them, I quickly found out that more people than I need to listen to this three piece lineup from Brooklyn. Slothrust is a breath of fresh air into jaded lungs.
The online reviews are sparse, but tell a similar story: Slothrust was formed from the ashes of lead singer Leah Wellbaum’s previous band Slothbox, in 2010. They self released Feels Your Pain in 2012, then recorded their most current album, Of Course They Do through Ba da Bing records in 2014. What caught my attention was that lead singer/lead guitarist Wellbaum, bassist Kyle Vann, and drummer Will Gorin all graduated from Sarah Lawrence College as Jazz/Blues majors…
My first listen through of Of Course They Do charmed me with their difficult to place musical influences and female point of view lyrics. The song “Crockpot” made me laugh with the tale of how trying to relate to the opposite sex and relationships can be a pain in the ass. “No Eye Candy”, even with the use of sparse lyrics, tells the story of how it can suck to be a woman, trying to deal with one’s appearance in a shallow, look obsessed world. “The Couch Incident” struck me as a sad story of trying to grow up and be authentic to yourself, not to outside expectations. All the songs on this album were amazingly relatable, extremely clever takes on what most ladies deal with in their lives. The tone ranged from glum to funny, but never boring.
After reading about their musical training, I listened a bit closer. At first glance, ” Of Course They Do” truly plays like an album recorded at home. Listening to them on the surface, Slothrust is a grunge-punk-garage band. They swing from balls out aggression to folksy and soft. Wellbalm’s vocals tend to be slightly off key, giving the songs a dreamy, almost careless sound. Then from out of nowhere, the quality of their musicianship hits you. The change ups, the rhythms, the pure virtuosity of the band on their individual instruments, their ease of playing together makes it plain that these are seriously well trained professionals. The guitar solo on “Magnets Pt.2” is proof alone of Leah Wellbaum’s glorious guitar skills. I would almost claim that the roughness of the surface music was an attempt to disguise their vast skills. It’s as if to say that they don’t want to be taken seriously, but they are too good NOT to be. The fact that they fly on so many levels at once is where their brilliance lies.
Slothrust just finished a short tour with Highly Suspect this past spring.
Their next show is June 26 at Aviv in Brooklyn.
Here’s where to find out more:
https://Slothrust.com for band info and tour dates
Their album ” Of Course They Do” can be found on all the usual online music sites as well as