Video Premiere: Slow Draw, “A Heavy Snack” from Yellow & Gray

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Slow Draw will release Yellow & Gray (review here) on May 7. And amid the joyously weird seven tracks that surround it, “A Heavy Snack” precisely what the title leads you to believe — a 91-second snippet of riff-based heavy rollout nestled into the 24-minute experimentalist whole of the album. Mark Kitchens, who doubles as the drummer of Hurst, Texas, heavy-jam-jazz-psych duo Stone Machine Electric, is no stranger to weird as a sonic concept, and Slow Draw is a vehicle for further exploration. That Yellow & Gray opens with “The Project” via manipulated samples and headphone-unveiled wub-wubs before moving into the live-drums and wistful rainy ’70s keyboards of “Stumble” and the ambient-but-also-still-drummed “Spacethunder” ahead of “A Heavy Snack” should be telling. As with Kitchens‘ past outings under the moniker, as well as his various snippets posted through Slow Draw‘s Instagram page, the idea here is to find a creative whim and see where it leads.

In “A Heavy Snack,” that’s to sonic weight. He acknowledges below some kinship with what the piece might have become — or still might, as one never really knowsslow draw yellow and gray — as a Stone Machine Electric track, but there’s no question it’s a standout on Yellow & Gray, leading into the spacious guitar and deep-mixed toms and cymbals of “Stranded” and the foreboding jazz bass ‘n’ strum of “Sylvia.” It is in fact the shortest song on the record — “Sylvia” is the longest at a relatively meditative 4:40 — and as the Beck homage “Turntable” leads into closer “A Slow Move,” with a blend of acoustic and electric drone in a manner that recalls Earth‘s Hex era, “A Heavy Snack” would seem to find a two-minute complement in those empty spaces. The two works, similarly titled, are of course working toward different ends, but there’s a kinship just the same in drawing from something atmospheric and creating breadth in a limited amount of time.

One has to wonder if “Sylvia,” “Turntable” and even “Spacethunder” aren’t leading toward Slow Draw finding its way into a drone-jazz open/experimentalist vibe, but one of the album’s — and yeah, at 24 minutes, it’s a full-length — strengths is in its lack of established rules. It keeps you listening because you don’t know where it’s going next or how it’s getting there. And by the time you find out, it’s over.

I can’t claim to get the reference in the video for “A Heavy Snack,” but if you do, please, let me know in the comments. In any case, the clip is hilarious and I hope you enjoy.

Thanks:

Slow Draw, “A Heavy Snack” official video premiere

Mark Kitchens on “A Heavy Snack”:

A Heavy Snack is really just a morsel of the song it could be, and if it was performed by Stone Machine Electric it would easily be ten times longer. Thankfully it is not because this video would not work for that long of a song. For this video, I wanted to pay a little homage to how I spent my childhood – watching MTV non-stop and absorbing all the music I could. If you can figure out where my shitty rip-off is taken from, then you probably know about how old I am if the MTV reference didn’t tell you.

Slow Draw is an apt descriptor for its own relaxed presence. This project provides ambient soundscapes, lightly steeped in exploratory psych and the meditative drawn-out cadence of drone.

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