The Slang

The Slang EP

Written by: TL on 02/10/2014 15:10:59

Hitting a gap before I can get my hands on the next new albums that I'm interested in (Marmozets and Weezer for those curious), there's a nice pocket of time that I might as well spend on catching up with a couple of EP's I've signed up to write about recently. One of them is called "The Slang" and is the debut release from an Ohio-based quartet of the same name. It's a five track release starting with "Far From Over", which sounds curiously British - a bit like an Idlewild song listening to the vocals, yet with a poppy spring in its step, like the vibe from a Kooks track. Regardless it's a fairly straightforward song which hits a good mix between the relaxed and the affected before giving way to "Feels Like Work", which has a more emotional atmosphere, echoing a nocturnal ambiance reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World's "Futures" era, and while the chorus is pretty simple, the reluctant resignation in the lyrical hook is the kind of thing that's nice and relatable without being too banal.

The cooled down "One Step At A Time" however, feels a bit ordinary with its plain falsetto hook, and only gets off the ground with a bit of soloing towards the end when it's too late. And the lyrics to the otherwise nicely poppy "Rule The World" are pretty much cringeworthy, making it the kind of thing you'll be annoyed to find yourself singing along to. Again there's a delay on the vocals making you think of chilly Brit-rock like Keane or Mystery Jets for instance, yet with a juxtaposition of a sugary muted guitar melody. "Find A Way" caps the release off with thick distortion under the chorus that honestly sounds a bit cheap, competing with "One Step At A Time" for the dubious title of "most forgetable song of the EP".

It's pretty clear that "The Slang" is a first effort from a band that is still trying to define its sound, giving off the impression that the group is caught between a liking for casual, retrospective indie pop, and the more sentimental and dramatic stylings of bands like Jimmy Eat World and Idlewild. The former style works well enough as one aspect of "Far From Over", but otherwise it's the more affected stuff that feels like it would yield something engaging if the band explored it more. A suggestion could be for the band to keep the poppy touches in there for balance, as Jimmy Eat World have indeed done, but to otherwise see where they can take the faux British romanticism they have going in the best moments on here. In any case, this release is a stepping stone with a couple of surprisingly decent tracks, but also one that features areas in need of improvement.

Download: Feels Like Work, Far From Over
For The Fans Of: Idlewild, Mystery Jets, Keane, Jimmy Eat World,

Release date 02.09.2014

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