|Album Rating: A|
Slow Warm Death has no connecting elements to Galm's part work in Snowing or Street Smart Cyclist. Gone are the tender lyrics about heartbreak and loneliness, and the quieter moments are even further away. Slow Warm Death is a harsh album to take in. The production is lo-fi and the guitars' distortion is heavy, with high gain. "SLEEP" opens the album with the only soft patch to be found, with Galm's vocals being buried distantly away under acoustic guitar. This intro is futile, as the track unleashes itself like a crashing wave, with the vocal line riding the crest. Songs such as "CRACK" and "ALONE" will worm their melodies into your head with Galm sounding like a completely different man. He has completely matured from his past writing, and his songs are now much darker in nature.
Slow Warm Death play like a post-emo version of The White Stripes. Their bluesy, distorted garage rock is simple in nature but packs a complete punch. While Snowing's melodies were tangled throughout their verses, Slow Warm Death's are crammed into the choruses. Vocal lines are more succinct and compacted, and the instrumentation leaves no air space empty.
The heaviness and darkness of Slow Warm Death culminates on "KILL YOU," a brutal song that borders the line of black/sludge metal. Droning guitars drag you through the slow churning tune, as John sings "I am outside your house / and I want to kill you." The hypnotizing tone is mesmerizing, and the album then only ascends from the black pit which it descended into. The one-two punch of "BLOOD / BLOOD 2" help round out the album fully, with moderate indie rock, bookended by shoegazing melodrama.
Slow Warm Death may not be what listeners expected from a post-Snowing band, but after repeated listens it opens up a first chapter in what may be the new era of post-emo garage rock.
You can stream the album and download it for "name your price" on their bandcamp. The LP is also available from Square of Opposition Records.
4. HOLY GHOST
6. KILL YOU
9. BLOOD 2