The Slang "Night and Day" EP

I saw a TV show the other night about the changing music scene in Nashville, Tennessee which has always been called the Country Music Capitol of America. Now it seems it is becoming simply the Music Capitol of America as all sorts of bands are relocating there. I wonder, does that make Branson, Missouri the Country Music Capitol of America? In Nashville these days you can still find Country but also Blues, Jazz, Pop, Rock and the music The Slang play which they call Alt.

Recorded at the Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, the EP highlights the talents of songwriter, vocalist and multi instrumentalist John Bobo and Bassist John Newsome. The album was produced by Russ Long (Wilco, Sixpence None the Richer), assisted by Jasper LeMaster with string Arrangements by Matthew Slocum and with additional recording at The Brown Owl in Nashville, mixed at The Carport, also in Nashville, mastered by Jim DeMain and assisted by Amy Marie at Yes Master Studios,  in, you guessed it, Nashville.

One of these guys is John Bobo and the other is John Newsome. But I don't know which is which.

 The band's press kit is loaded with credits for this EP including Miles McPherson on drums and percussion, Jerry McPherson and John Garratt on guitars, Dustin Ransom on organ, synth and upright piano with Kim Keyes and Chris Rodriguez singing backup and a string section consisting of Kris Wilkinson, David Davidson, David Angell and Sari Reist. So my question is how is this a two man band (Bobo & Newsome)?

At what point did the music business become a matter of getting a couple guys, arm them with a virtual army of session musicians and production people and call it "a band" (the Monkees, The Beach Boys, Milli Vanilli...)? Nevermind, I guess it's been going on forever but according to The Slang's press kit: "Their musical talents have earned them invitations to several premier music conferences including MPMF, NXNE, IPO and CMJ. In addition, the sounds of The Slang have been used in various mainstream outlets including HBO, USA network, and Troma Films.  The  band’s first self-titled EP mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers, Tokyo Police Club, The Toxic Airborne Event) and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys) had solid success throughout the US with over 50+ CMJ stations playing tracks from the EP as well as numerous industry write-ups, both stateside and abroad."

Video for The Slang's "Night and Day".

 That's actually pretty impressive and it seems they have a pretty good support system so does the music itself seem worthy? Yes, if you like bands like Dada, Gin Blossoms, Foo Fighters and other 90s alternative rock bands. What I like about those bands as well as The Slang is that you can actually hear the instruments. Sometime during the age of Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and unlimited multi-track recording it became popular to pile on the electric guitars until the guitar sound was a thick, heavy mid-range hum. Overdubbing too many guitars loses the attack (the pick hitting the strings) and the natural decay of the notes and you end up with a sound that seems more like a keyboard than a string instrument. On The Slang's five song EP tunes such as "Day & Night" you really feel like you're listening to an actual, live, band. This is an EP that works the way phonograph records were originally created to work; namely a sample of a band's performance that makes you want to go buy a ticket to see them play live. Other songs like the lush, beautiful opening number "The Ballad Of Everything" or the song "Breakthrough" bring to mind the sort of sound like that of the band Keane, that is to say sweeping, romantic and with a good Alt sense of yearning.

This is the sad part where I want to tell you to go see them live this Friday at the Local Rock Club or Concert Venue but all I can tell you is that they're planning to tour this fall (now) so Google The Slang, go see them and then write back to me and tell me how the show was. I'm curious if they perform as a duo or if they come close to sounding like their monster recording.

No comments:

Post a Comment