Slothrust is principal songwriter, singer, guitar player and unrepentant aesthete Leah Wellbaum, with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. On their fourth full-length album The Pact, Slothrust constructs a luscious, ethereal cosmos perforated with wormy portals and magic wardrobes, demonstrating more clearly than ever the band’s deft shaping of contrasting sonic elements to forge a muscular sound that’s uniquely their own. The album was recorded in Los Angeles with producer and mixer Billy Bush (Garbage, Neon Trees, The Boxer Rebellion).
Cultivating their potent brew of classically informed, soulful rock in the fertile Brooklyn indie scene, Slothrust released their debut LP, Feels Your Pain, in 2012, followed by 2014’s Of Course You Do. The band expanded their fervent following via the song “7:30 am,” selected as the theme for the FX Network show "You’re The Worst”.  Their 2016 Dangerbird debut album Everyone Else established the band as a breed apart, capable of serving up deceptively clever epics that veer satisfyingly between incandescent riffing and pop hooks, winsome anxiety and powerful heft.  Throughout 2016 and 2017, Slothrust lit up audiences on sold-out headline tours, festival dates and support tours with Highly Suspect in the US and Manchester Orchestra in Europe. The band closed out 2017 with Show Me How You Want It To Be, an EP of of unexpected and inventive covers of songs by artists as diverse as Al Green and Britney Spears, Black Sabbath and Louis Armstrong. 

Composed of Leah Wellbaum (guitars/vocals), Kyle Bann (bass), and Will Gorin (drums), Slothrust have crafted a veritable fireworks display in Everyone Else—visceral, bone marrow cutting anthems that grab your ear in the short term and sustain their appeal over the long haul thanks to the sheer complexity and originality of the arrangements and lyrical depth.

“People have always had trouble comparing us to other bands, but someone recently described us as Nirvana meets Wynton Marsalis, and I loved that,” says Wellbaum. The band, who studied music and honed their sound while enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College, are obviously worthy of such a lofty compliment. “We all studied jazz and blues, so I often use chords and voicings that aren’t quite as conventional for contemporary rock,” she states. “Certain harmonic movement can get stale, so I try to incorporate colorful notes to give it more depth. The improvisational spirit of blues music is also something we try to always keep with us, even in more composed playing." She goes on to say, "I am drawn to musicians a bit further outside of the rock tradition, such as John Fahey, Elizabeth Cotten, D'Angelo, and Portishead. Growing up I listened to a lot of r & b and classical music. And musicals."

The record also finds Wellbaum hitting an arresting stride lyrically, as water motifs abound, which are oddly off-kilter and rarely morose, reflecting her uniquely frivolous yet erudite writing style. This is evident on the slow-burn of “Horseshoe Crab,” as Wellbaum quixotically observes, “I don’t have anything in common with myself, except that I came from the sea, like everyone else did,” over storm cloud riffs and a white hot low-end rhythmic rumble. On the hyper-adrenalized “Rotten Pumpkin”, Wellbaum sings in a rapid fire vomit burst, “l'll make you sick because I’m soft water/Reach inside of me, and scoop out my seeds."

The third crown jewel of the album is “Like a Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone." After its nursery rhyme intro gives way to a stylish, extemporaneous instrumental tour de force, its funky, locked-in rhythm section exhibits just how tight and talented this band is. The glue that holds it together is Wellbaum’s distinctive, brilliantly androgynous vocal delivery, as she vulnerably appeals, “Hold me under the water/My lungs are filling with plankton/But the lake is not lonely/No need for you to come with me.”

The last line belies the overriding ethos of Everyone Else—its sense of inclusiveness. Slothrust are truly one of the most unique bands to emerge from the protean indie musical landscape of the past decade, and Wellbaum feels as though this is the first chance for their ceaselessly inventive sound to be heard by a mass audience. With the divine fire Slothrust play with throughout Everyone Else, many likely will.

And The Kids

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