Ground Sloth-Demo (self-released)
By Nathan G. O'Brien exclusively for HotDogDayz.
The first track, “9-11 Hot Wings”—which gets my vote for Best Song Title of the Year—can best be described as a gloomy romp through the tortured mind of a soldier high on psychotropic drugs. Of course I could be totally wrong about the subject matter because, fact is, the vocals are largely unintelligible. It makes no difference to me though, as actual lyrical content usually matters little, provided it’s not singing the praises of Michelle Bachman or arguing for the recompense of slavery. I can assure you they are neither or anything as equally revolting. It’s probably anti-war or, about getting stoned…or, an anti-war song about getting stoned. Let’s move on, shall we?
Song two—“Right to Self-Destruct” starts off, well, appropriately—“Don’t deny my right to self-destruct!” Lyrically, it doesn’t take long to figure this one out. Whereas the previous song had sludge-stoner-metal affections, reminiscent of High On Fire or Eyehategod, this song is more in the vein of raw noise punk that’s become quite popular of late—like a slightly less chaotic Nerveskade. To anyone familiar with his work ska-crust ragers Diskast or the highly underappreciated Clean Girls, bass player, Josh Makela’s patented high-pitched vocals are easily recognizable on this one. Mid–song there is a nice mosh breakdown that lasts exactly six seconds before effortlessly transitioning into a speed metal spot that is equally as short. Believe me, it’s, like, totally rad. Put your keg cups in the air!
“Drug Haze” shows Ground Sloth flexing their hardcore punk rock chops. Again, the noise elements are present though. It’s like Murder Disco X and Raw Nerve met at a house party, smoked up, and slammed out some tracks in the bathroom or kitchen or some other place that sounds like the inside of a PBR tallboy.
“The Last Unicorn” is appropriately placed at the end of this demo, as it captures all the best moments of the previous three songs in one masterful doom-infected juncture, which may or may not be a tribute the 1982 animated feature of the same name.
Overall, the quality of the recording is what you’d expect of a demo—raw and lacking a few of the fine-tuning adjustments that usually happen once something gets laid to vinyl. I get a boner for demos, so I think it’s perfect. I would love to see this come out on a cassette. However, I think we’ll be lucky if we see any more Ground Sloth output at all. At present, the drummer, Erik plans to move to Seattle at the end of the summer and there is a good chance Josh will be leaving for NYC. So catch them while you can in the next few months—they are booking shows around Williamsburg and Richmond, VA and Washington DC.
If you’re still not sold on Ground Sloth, you no-doubt will be after you hear how Josh explains them—“We just hang out, smoke weed, drink, talk about girls, and occasionally bang out a hardcore breakdown and write a song around it.”
Now if that isn’t living the American Dream, I don’t know what is.
Stream or download here.
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