[sic] Magazine

Slothrust – Of Course You Do

One thing a strapline like “Brooklyn grunge-pop” is gonna afford you is immediate clickbait cred. A lot of people are going to want to be on board with that premise because, frankly, it sounds pretty cool. Of Course You Do is Slothrust’s (that’s sloth-rust, not slo-thrust by the way) second LP and it has problems, the biggest of which is that is does not live up to this expectation. In fact, in places, it’s quite the opposite and really rather uncool indeed.

A grunge-pop record should be fierce, smart and breathless. OD’ing on the sort of quiet/loud structures that The Pixies owned back in the day, the trio’s tempos are naturally all over the place. Their running order however comes littered with slow, suspect openings that generally kill the flow. One man’s quirky fun is another’s eternal misery too, so when frontwoman Leah Wellbaum asks “Do you like cats?/ Of course you do/ You sassy motherfucker” some may find it endearing. Others will not, particularly when it seems only to cheapen what’s already quite a weak track. Such “comedy” of course fares even less well on repeat listens.

So, instead of a 10-track blast we’re left with a catchy exercise in insubstantiality, Wellbaum’s curiously deep vocal frequently lacking much appeal to boot. Cuts like “Magnets – Pt. 1” have little urgency and this sort of by-numbers 90s rock says nothing about its creators. Part two of this same song does deliver during its noisy passages, ramping up strongly only to then get spoilt by bombastic strings and trombone. What threatened to be snappy switches to overblown in a heartbeat.

Then there’s the sinking feeling you get when you hear “No Eye Candy”, which has the appearance of a run-of-the-mill indie band trying on cool kids’ coats to see which looks best, the results here sounding something like Electrelane given a few guitar-driven balls. It’s all a bit of shame really because when Slothrust do get their shred on, such as on “Juice”, their peels of feedback are quite thrilling. The closer’s blowout is totally sweet too, but it’s also let down by very limp quiet passages. Slothrust 2.0 need to focus their energy on being loud because that’s definitely the coat that fits them best … and their current attempts to try on everything in the store are just a mess.

Best tracks: “Juice” and “Cubicle”

~Of Course You Do is out now on Ba Da Bing.~