ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
One night, I was out in Benson. I was going between the bars and was hoping to meet new people. I ran into four guys, three look about high school age, one older. We strike up a conversation, they’re friendly people. Our topic of discussion: I don’t remember,but eventually I find out they’re musicians. They tell me about their band, the Slow Stoics. They were eager to get their name out there. I ended up adding the drummer on Facebook, and planned to go to a show for some time now, but I have been really proud of the connec-tion regardless.
The Slow Stoics started in November 2010. Their style is described as jazzy psychedelic rock with bits of blues, reggae and funk. One of the bands favorite ways of describing their style is as “celestial crunk.”
It’s easy to see many of the genre influences they describe on their Facebook page in “Jamboyant.” The singer’s voice reminds me of the lead singer of Harvey Danger, which he uses to his advantage. He talks a lot about his drinking in songs like “Overthrow,” which I find to be a very brave move. Art is, if nothing, being totally honest with yourself.
One thing I’m impressed by is how effortlessly the songs change their sound. “25” starts out with a Reggae vibe, and steadily becomes harder, eventually giving way to a more progressive rock sound. On paper, this should be obnoxious, but Slow Stoics always ease the listener into the transition, it’s never sudden.
One band I’m reminded of listening to Slow Stoics is Queens of the Stone Age. I will usually put a Queens album on when I’m cruising, feeling kind of dangerous, rebellious. I have no reason to believe that QOTSA is a band they are deliberately emulating, but I get a similar sort of dirty vibe.
When “Jamboyant” chills, it is also effective. Swathes of “Matilda” sound like something that should be played in the background of a bar.
“Jamboyant/Come Around” opens on a jazzier sound. Jazz rock is something that should take off; beyond the fact that the mixture gels in the song, it’s an awesome idea based solely on its premise. It steadily drifts into progressive and eventually reggae. I’m reminded a little bit of Pink Floyd with this song in particular, with how content Slow Stoics is with taking their time with their music, they go for long riffs, and hold off on the lyrics until later. Plenty of other musicians do that, I realize, but I was reminded of “Dark Side of the Moon” in this particular instance.
Their first album, “Jamboyant” was released in April. Its available through their Facebook page. Their next show is at the Reverb Lounge on Tuesday, where they will be playing and Tender Age will be headlining. After that they will be playing at Hedgestock IV, which is a funk festival that plays from Sep 10 at 2 p.m., to Sept 11, at 2 p.m.; the last show they have booked at the moment is on Sep 17 at the Marrakech Gourmet on 33rd Street. They are playing with Rae Tulo, Outercase Smile and The Gython. The show is being hosted by Off the Record, LLC.
Very nice article, Jeff Turner!