US rock band Slippertails is a bit of a mystery you will find when looking for info on the creators of new album There’s A Disturbing Trend. Based in New Jersey and formed by its members in Bloomington, Indiana where they roomed together, the band is apparently a duo though the only name seemingly offered up is that of frontman Nick Casertano who recorded demos alone in his basement which would eventually become this album. Other than that it is pretty much left to the imagination to wonder what the band is about, but what is not a secret is the stirring addictive sound band and release persuades with. A merger of sludge bred tendencies within an alternative rock/garage punk narrative and steered by a hypnotic vocal drawl which at times embraces shoegaze mesmerism, Slippertails creates a presence which worms deep under the skin and into the psyche with irreverent contagion.
The album is not a flawless affair if being critical but such its potency and potential it is hard not to be excited about the prospects and future creativity of the band whilst glossing over any small negatives. Varied in fuzz drenched sonic spice and caustic imagination which sears and scores the senses, There’s A Disturbing Trend has a nagging almost pestilential beauty which just empowers and improves over time and though a raw lo-fi proposition which maybe will grate on some, the nine track tempest of noise is a masterful slice of sonic alchemy. The immediate description of the band’s sound which comes to mind is Frank Black meets Everclear, the latter thanks to the vocal delivery and alternative rock/grunge tendencies of songs, with plenty of Melvins juices in the mix but that is only part of the story to be honest as the songs soon reveal.
Opening with its first single Hip New Jerk, the album makes an energetic entrance with keen punchy rhythms puncturing the instantly compelling smog of scuzzy guitar. The vocals of Casertano soon seize control with a Frank Black like presence which infuses into the heavy garage punk sounds too. It is an irresistible lure of a starter with a very relaxed breath which fits in perfectly with the more boisterous and scowling aspects of the song. A great single and opener it makes an early strong plateau for the album to maintain which the following Failure matches with its different type of temptation. A slow almost stalking encounter for the ears, the track seduces and intimidates with equal efficiency, flames of guitar smouldering in the air whilst bass and rhythms scowl belligerently beneath them. Again there is a Frank Black like suasion which predominantly seems to guide the inspirations for the whole album but it is not so overpowering as to dismiss any of the uniqueness of Slippertails.
Both Walk and Garden State Of Mind ignite the appetite into a hungrier state of eagerness; the first from a hypnotic drum coaxing evolving a garage punk tempting which latches on to the exceptional rhythmic bait whilst a sonic web of guitar toxicity and effect showered vocals play out their narratives. It is one of those songs which holds a virulence which the emotions unavoidably get infected by whilst its successor with another crawling sonic festering of an approach, wraps its fuzz sculpted arms acidically around the ears before serenading them with delicious vocal harmonies alongside the ever engaging core vocal causticity of Casertano. The pair only inflates the already buoyant pleasure spread by the album and though it at times takes time to fully recruit the passions There’s A Disturbing Trend by this point already has full command of thoughts and emotions.
The following pair of Gold Tooth and I Will Peel You Open move into that Everclear side of things, the vocals very much reminding of Art Alexakis whilst the expressive emotive sonic casting is a close cousin to that created by the Oregon band. It is fair to say that both songs fall short of what comes before them, the second almost labouring in its persuasion, but still the two ultimately convince with a craft and infectiousness which can and does only enhance the presence of the album. Things are soon back on course though with the brilliant All Seeing Eye, a song which sounds like Jesus and Mary Chain in tandem with House Of Love as they seduce The Walker Brothers. It is a transfixing mesmerism which leaves imagination and senses lost in a fuzz drizzled evocation of an emotively crafted sunset.
The brief punk surge of Altar Wine also has a sixties temperament to its aggressive outburst whilst closing song I Wanna Take Pills With You is a psyche addled piece of sultry enchantment, a shadowed soaked melodic psychedelic glow of danger and seduction. It is a slow burning conclusion which like the album just gets more potent and magnetically thrilling over time and plays. There’s A Disturbing Trend is a striking encounter which makes you work for its rapture but pays handsomely with some quite enchantingly abrasive treasures.
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