Just as likely to steal the final thrusts of your sexual exploits as they are your passions, US band Slumlord Radio show with their Tokyo Roadhouse Sonic Sex Castle EP that they know how to create magnetic brawls of dirty rock ‘n’ roll and abrasive provocation, songs which serve up a diet of irrepressible and thrilling sonic fire which exploit and taunt the senses and psyche. The five track release is a greedy and unruly confrontation but one that hunger was bred for. Raw and unafraid to rile up its listener just as gleefully as it pleasures them, the release is a raucous treat offering salacious pleasure and unmistakable promise.
Based in Grand Rapids/Flint, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Tommy Erickson, bassist Mike Todd, and drummer David Flynn, came together in 2010. Their scuzzed up, filth caked form of rock ‘n’ roll soon had attention locally as the band merged garage rock with sludge like essences whilst other whispers like hardcore, metal, and hard rock made their contribution, a sound best described as unbridled punk ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which arguably is employing existing sounds and invention but turns it with their invidious alchemy into a distinct devilry of their own. The new release follows the well-received The Cats Pajamas EP and shows the band is moving very much in the right direction to earn themselves a potent place in current garage rock circles. Released via Silver Maple Kills Records earlier this year, it has already awakened a great many to the band, which is no surprise as the release stirs up the senses to give satisfaction a full meal.
Fort Knox opens things up with tall attention seeking fire spawned hooks soon accompanied by greedy riffs, probing rhythms, and squalling vocals. The slightly insidious nature of those early rising sonic flames is a delicious niggling temptation throughout the song and never meanders from their spicy temptation whilst around them the song flexes sinews and rapacious energy to engage the rest of the senses and thoughts. At times there is a mix of Kyuss and My Red Cell launching its suggestiveness within thoughts whilst a breath of Mudhoney is not far away either. It is an excellent start with Call Me Chief soon by its side, the song another caustic haze of punk intensity and garage rock fuzzy veined by a throaty bass croon which smells as predacious as it sounds. Its mix of slow stomps and frenetic bursts is pure contagion, the smouldering tease of the ear and outright sonic turbulence a riveting and pleasing union which leaves the appetite drooling for more.
Up next Old Zilwaukee walks in with a mesmeric shimmering to its air and hoarse breath to its core, vocally and in the scarring riffing once the track is in full stride. The gait switches from reflective musing to expressive tempest across the track and though it arguably takes longer to seize the emotions compared to its predecessors, the wilfully creative confrontation emerges just as vital and impressive, the guitar solo especially inflammatory.
As Second Hand Tank takes its time to scorch the ear there is a Psychedelic Furs lilt to the caress, especially vocally and through the bass suggestion, though once into its almost corrosive blues kissed sonic storm suasion you are more in the MC5 and Social Distortion territory. Without quite sparking the heights and success of the previous tracks, it still leaves you appreciating and enjoying the grunginess and carefree attitude of its charm.
The title track brings things to a roguish conclusion with infectious enterprise and variation. The most inventive of the tracks on Tokyo Roadhouse Sonic Sex Castle but again not as irresistible as the opening triplet of bruises, it nevertheless has a pull which has feet and voice playing their part in the fun.
Slumlord Radio is a band still finding its unique sound and stance one suspects but if the release is a portent of things to come; they will be a force we will be hearing plenty of. For promising emerging garage rock with a layer of dirt you just hanker for, Slumlord Radio is well worth taking a listen to.
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