Scoville Units Unite

31 Mar

Slowlight ‎– The Only Thing I Want Is To Know What I Want

I’ve been on a bit of an emo kick lately. Probably fuelled by Rainer Maria reforming and then discovering the excellent Save Ends.

At Book Yer Ane Fest 2016 one of the best new bands I saw was Glasgows Slowlight. I got their EP and played it a lot, liking Repeat The Pattern especially.

Then in 2017 they returned and promised an album. Originally only available digitally via a download code in a zine, they have pressed a number of copies for their tour and released it on their bandcamp page.

And it’s a cracking album, probably leading contender for album of the year for me, unless a certain local band can ever skip the queue ahead of the record store day arses clogging up the plants.

Full Of Empty

Track one kicks in immediately and has the paired male/female vocals which makes this music sound so awesome. A sort of sung homage to the opening to Trainspotting with a long list of processes and things you probably want to have in your life, “A place to call your own, a close knit group of friends”.

The Only Thing I Want Is To Know What I Want

The title track pulls it back and slows down with few lyrics that repeat for maybe a couple of times too many in the almost 6 minutes it lasts, and feels more like it could have (should have?) been the opening track to be honest.

Blackout

Sounding more like something you’d hear in 1996, which certainly is a plus for me, with lyrics more like that you’d hear when the doomsday clock was closest to midnight, which is a sad indictment that we haven’t moved too far from the Reagen era. That you can’t pinpoint where in the world this is written about A town left destroyed overnight. Take cover, then discover we’ll never recover.

Prison

A screeching post-hardcore song is the perfect follow on to Blackout. With vocals which reminded me of Mhari Mushroom from Eat Yer Greens.

Cucumber

Respite arrives with Cucumber, peppered with I assume the partner and child of the vocalist in the band based on credit listing. Reminded me of Esperis Seasons Album. And I do enjoy the occasional song that probably can’t be performed live.

Pretend For Real

Probably the best song on the album, and closest to the EP, let’s just pretend for real. Haunting lyrics which can be interpreted in a number of ways, none telling of a great situation.

Strange Shapes

A return to the dual vocals. It’s striking that this is the first time there’s been a second song so far where a large chunk of the song is in a similar style to a previous one. Whether this shows that they haven’t settled on a style they prefer or are just happy experimenting and throwing out a bunch of great songs, either is good.

Turn The Knife

The OCD-record collector in me notes that the lyrics in the booklet are attributed to a second entry of Strange Shapes, so maybe this will be a first pressing, future rarity value, grab it now etc :). I’m not dead but I don’t feel alive, you turned the knife has to be among the emo-est of emo lyrics. Every line is superb.

Let’s Plagiarise!

A song with a tune so good, I’d happily listen to the instrumental with an almost sludgy rhythm. But the vocals above it help to speed it up and give it a faster tempo come the chorus. With a few samples thrown in, I wonder what the Morse Code message is?

Tiger Science

The final track is an ode to optimism, ending with is this real or is this just a dream? Or maybe both?.

I was really impressed with it, even following on from their excellent EP. Maybe it’s because I’m currently going through listening to old records again, but one of the first things which appealed to me was the packaging of physical music. So many random good (and bad) acts I found from the thanks/inspired by sections of liner notes. This has both and mentions a bunch of fowk I know and bands I love. A thanks to Warped alumni Phil Morton, and appeals for you to listen to Terrafraid, Stonethrower and The Kimberly Steaks and calling out Book Yer Ane Fest are the kind of posi things we need in the compact scene.

With a physical copy to be had for less than a tenner, and digital for Name Your Price, there’s no excuse not to pick it up.

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