Slowpoke Premiere “Windtalker”; Self-Titled Debut out Aug. 22


Canadian sludge-rocking/sometimes-grinding/sometimes-doomed oddballs Slowpoke will release their self-titled debut album on Aug. 22. It is a gleefully troublemaking record almost from its very start, with the 9:27 opener and longest track (immediate points) “Stony Iommi,” which launches rough with thrashy slams and a raw grind like Repulsion in sludge tones before at around two and a half minutes in it sneaks its way into a hypnotic psychedelic jam. Seriously, you almost don’t even realize it’s happened until a couple minutes after the fact, like, “Wait, weren’t these guys just ripping out my larynx? What happened to that?” and they’re jamming along peacefully going, “Nah man, not us. Those were three other dudes. Check out this massive-ass prog-stoner buildup we’re about to do, it’s pretty rad.” And so it is.

The proceedings get even more off-kilter with the three-minute shortest track, “Slumlord,” which follows and sounds like Chris Goss fronting a group of punk fuzz misfits before random growls are thrown in again; subtle preface to the sludgy slowdown to come near the finish, which is a fitting lead-in to the brash early going of “Sid the Cat,” which almost comes across like a parody of Down before the cleaner-style of vocals returns — then is layered in ahead of, you guessed it, more metallic growls. Bassist Ben Chapman-Smith wouldslowpoke slowpoke seem to be something of a tour de force in his approach, and the band, with Cameron Legge on guitar and Adam Young drumming, very much follows suit, elbowing back and forth between thrash, heavy rock, sludge, doom, grind, and noise. They make a highlight of the fuzzy centerpiece “Miami Camo,” which follows a linear forward course even as its melody offers a grounded-feeling earworm, but as they’ve shown multiple times throughout already — as they showed before “Stony Iommi” was halfway done, in fact — they’re not interested in staying in one place for two long. “Windtalker” shifts between cleaner singing and growling atop a relatively straightforward heavy rock progression, giving a sense of structure and arrangement that effectively brings the group’s multifaceted approach together toward a single purpose and still finds room to layer in a solo ahead of its final growls an instrumental finish.

Clearly these guys hare having a blast and I don’t think anyone would accuse them on this debut of taking themselves too seriously, but the ease with which they bring together more extreme forms of metal and heavy rock isn’t to be discounted. They do it in the correct way: by doing it. It’s not a ceremony. There isn’t a stop and then everybody quickly retunes and starts playing Morbid Angel riffs. It becomes part of the self-titled’s personality, part of the band’s personality, and as they move into the closing duo of “Sanctuary” and the eponymous “Slowpoke,” the former over seven minutes and the latter a bookend with “Stone Iommi” that passes nine, there’s an added feeling of breadth that speaks to where they might go in the future — not to mention the harmonies that surface in the midsection of “Slowpoke” ahead of its mega-lumbering conclusion. They must’ve had a time picking between that and “Stony Iommi” to open the record, but they ultimately went the right way. That sense of good-time levity and Slowpoke‘s being ready and willing to go wherever the hell they want at a moment’s notice (or none at all) are laid forth early and help define and give context to everything that comes after. They make it make sense, even if the sense it’s making is its own kind.

And on a first release, “its own kind of sense” is an all the more impressive making. There’s work to be done in terms of harnessing their approach and using it to build character in the songs — “Sid the Cat” does that well in terms of writing around an actual character, but I’m talking more about character for the band, so “Slumlord,” “Windtalker” and “Slowpoke” might be better examples — tightening their craft and finding their studio sound as a band only can over multiple recordings, but to call the early returns on Slowpoke anything less than encouraging would be underselling them. Slowpoke serve as a reminder of how much fun it can be when a band stands out from the crowd, and how much potential there is for them to continue to tread their own path through heavy going forward.

“Windtalker” premieres below, followed by PR wire info.

Please enjoy:

Slowpoke, “Windtalker” track premiere

Slowpoke formed in St John’s Newfoundland Canada in 2018 by Ben Chapman-Smith (Bass, Vocals) and Cameron Legge (Guitar). In early 2019 Adam Young (Drums) joined the band. The trio went on to record the bedrock of their upcoming album ‘Slowpoke” and closed the night at Still Heavy’s Midsummer Mayhem 3 festival. COVID-19 made live performances a non-option in 2020 so Slowpoke went inside and worked away at their release, and applied for a MusicNL Artist development grant which they received in January 2021.

Upon receiving the grant Slowpoke enlisted the services of Rick Hollet at Redhouse Recording (sHeavy, Hey Rosetta!) for Mixing and Chris Keffer at Magnetic North (The Black Keys, Cheap Trick) studios for Mastering. Slowpoke is currently performing Newfoundland and has an album release show planned at the Rockhouse in St Johns on August 21st 2021 with The Birchmen and local legends sHeavy.

Slowpoke is:
Cameron Legge – Guitar
Ben Chapman-Smith – Bass, vocals
Adam Young – Drums

Slowpoke website

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Slowpoke on YouTube

Slowpoke on Bandcamp

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