The Slow Attack: Higher Than This!

It always happens like this: I’m all caught up in trying to catch up, and some band sends an unsolicited request to check their shizz out. I roll my eyes, facepalm and try to pretend it isn’t happening.

Let’s keep ’em coming, y’all.

The latest band to screw up my “to do list” is The Slow Attack, who are releasing Higher Than This on Friday, March 17th.

Fuck me, these guys are good. As in, you gotta get this, stream it, download it, but it and give these guys some cash. Well, if you’re dying for good old-fashioned hard and heavy rock with solid hooks, a screaming rhythm section and guitar-hero dudes WAILING and letting it rip. Otherwise, this is a hard pass if you prefer Lover Boy on your 80’s Rock Classics playlist.

I was originally going to make this part of my Single Life series, where I pick one song from an upcoming band. Screw that, let’s look at the whole EP and give it a vote on the Doom Charts. Because dammit, it’s that kind of release.

Before I gush over it though, there’s one glaring thing I gotta address: those vocals, or at least how they’re recorded. Guys, this approach isn’t doing you any favors, and they came close to me doing a quick in and out. But the guitars and everything else was enough to keep me going. The thing is, the more I listened the more I suspect that what I was hearing was part of the production choices, and I was proven correct. More on that in a bit…

Opening track starts out with the popular “atmospheric” introduction that I’m just not sick of yet. Maybe soon, but not yet. Then the guitars come in: chunky, crunchy and with just a hint of classic ZZ Top. At the 2:40 mark we get a much-needed transition away from classic rock/boogie vibes to some dual-guitar attack niceness. These guys know how to arrange a song, and the build-up is perfectly timed and executed. Good enough for a Single Life spot, that’s fer sher.

Desire is an interesting throwback to some early 80’s Hard Rock before it started to suck. And yeah, even the lyrics live up to that expectation. Standard fare, competently done. By the 2:00 mark, my head is bobbing, against my will. Then at 2:37 it goes to that “special” place. This is the kind of stuff that’s going to get the couples shaking their thangs on the dance floor.

Suicidal Freedom “borrows” from a certain Tom Petty track, then turns it up to 11. It’s short, to the point, and is probably gonna make some air-guitarists make that “stank face” and go nuts over the early-Maiden style leads that just kill. It’s also the first song where the vocals actually made sense in terms of style. And then it hit me: Orange Goblin! It’s like they were trying to clean up and process Ben Ward into something…civilized and respectable. Um…

The closing track is a double-shot of pure grain goodness, Nature of Beings & El Bigote Agresivo (Live). My suspicion was confirmed: they tried to tame this beast. These two tracks are raw, nasty and oh so gnarly. And yeah, the vocals are fucking awesome, dammit!!! It’s the kind of whiskey-strained voice that just gets the crowd pumping and challenges the guitars for dominance. The bass playing is low-down and up to no good, reaching deep into your gut and making it clear where the boogie lies. Plenty of air drummers are gonna smashing the smokey haze with empty hands when they see these guys (and gal). I do not want this to end: I need at least another hour to soak in the hard and heavy vibes.

So yeah. Highly, highly recommended for fans of no-holds barred hard and heavy rock with every element assembled with raunchy precision.

I personally hope the next studio release ain’t so civilized, and that they lean into their strength: dirty, gritty and no-holds-barred RAWK!!!

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