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Day 304: Slow Club – Paradise

29 Dec

Two Cousins

If you’ve heard Slow Club’s debut record (the awesome Yeah So) then you know what I was expecting coming into this album.  That record is packed to the brim with catchy guitar riffs, engaging vocals, and a fun back-and-forth routine performed by the band’s two members.

Sophomore efforts are frequently disappointing, and understandably so.  Years and years of work often go into debut albums, while the second record—if the first did well enough—is sometimes written and recorded in the back of a tour van.

Unfortunately, Slow Club follows this annoying trend.  Paradise just doesn’t pack all that much of a punch, with only a few tracks that I would consider listening to again. It doesn’t compare to Yeah So, which, for the most part, is really good.   

The album opener, for example, had my lady-friend and me saying “what the crap?”  “Two Cousins” is a catastrophe of a song that goes on for about three minutes and 50 seconds too long.  Perhaps I’m being a little too judgmental here, but you can’t start off an album with a song that really should be filler.  In this ADHD-tastic society, bands need to open things up with a bang.  Or a whimper, that slowly turns into a bang.  At the very least, a whimper that leads into a bang of a second track.  “Two Cousins” does none of these things, and the rest of the record follows suit.

It’s never a good thing when you’re bored while listening to a record.  Unfortunately, Slow Club was unable to keep the magic going, as Paradise falls flat on its face.

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Day 56: Slow Club – Yeah So

25 Apr

Giving Up on Love

And here we have yet another member of the Los Campesinos! Twitter Club.  Gareth pimped this British duo (or, more accurately, hit on the singer) for a while last year. More recently, Gareth will throw a tweet at @slowclubrebecca every now and then, but I think he’s given up.  Maybe he’ll write a song about it.

I figured that I had to check this band out to see if it was worthy of my stalkee’s attention.  I am so creepy.  I need a hobby.

Anyway, I see why Gareth became a fan of this band, and Rebecca, in the first place.

Slow Club is what Los Campesinos! would be if you took away six members.  There are plenty of melodramatic lyrics, along with a lot of play with male/female vocals.  Overall, the music has a more stripped-down feel to it, and as a result, is a lot simpler.

The band really does consist of just two people.  Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor play all the instruments, and sing all of the words, not to say that those  jobs are too demanding.  Most songs consist of either one or two guitars, the voices of both members, and sometimes a little bit of minimalist percussion. The band really does more with less, as every song on Yeah So is delivered with a passion not often seen in music today.

What I really love about Yeah So is its complete lack of filler.  Not one song on the record comes off as phoned-in or half-assed.  Even after the group’s two EPs that came before this, they were able to put together a ton of solid material for their full-length debut.  I’m definitely looking forward to more from them.