Review: Slow Loris – “Extra Colors” & “dream/vacation EP”

As I talked about before in this morning’s Teen Daze post, I feel a little guilty finding bands on other blogs then blogging about them. I’d much rather prefer to make my own discoveries, but then again, the blogosphere is so large and has so many nooks and crannies, it’s virtually impossible to find everything and be “first” to post something. So credit is given where credit is due. So thanks to Marc over at Visitation Rites, Right Hear and The Road Goes Ever On for all posting about Slow Loris, and drawing my attention to Wes Doyle’s Madison-based bedroom project.

There are so many influences present in this music. Sure, it’s bedroom lo-fi, but it’s not the totally fuzzed-out bedroom that Wavves and Cloud Nothings originated in. Right Hear compares it to Surfer Blood, but beyond the guitar riffs, there isn’t too much similar. The opening track on the November 13 released Extra Colors, “We Were Never Alone,” immediately draws beach imagery to the mind, but at the same time, the relaxed energy of the song doesn’t make the listener desperate long for the beach. I’m perfectly content to sit on a cold December day and listen to this. It doesn’t make me want summer like Teen Daze’s tracks do.

Maybe it’s because Slow Loris is based in Wisconsin. I’m not sure how much beach aesthetic manifests itself there beyond the beaches of the Great Lakes, which are nice beaches, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the same animal. Doyle melts together multiple facets of today’s music on the second track, “LA LA Swim.” There’s a certain ambiance in the background of the song, but the low-note guitar riffs cuts through, adding aggression to the passiveness of the background. The overarching riff throws the song forward and continues its run.

The bedroom environment allows for some out there creativity in other Slow Loris tracks on Extra Colors. “Sofa Music” has a hip-hop sample and throws together some riffing on top of hip-hop beats. “No More Summer” might be the closest thing that Slow Loris has to a ballad on the album, but its laid-back feel floats along through the track.

Honestly, all listening to Slow Loris makes me want to do is go home and get my electric guitar and lock myself in my room for two weeks with all my instruments and see what happens. Doyle makes it all sound so easy, but at the same time, the technicality present in the album shows that this album was a labor of love and took time and patience, something extremely admirable.

dream/vacation EP, recorded in 2009 and released in March of this year is much more fuzzed and blissed out than Extra Colors, but it’s easy to see the genesis of the Slow Loris found on the later album. “Dream Vacation” is the highlight of the five-track EP with fuzzy chords over distant vocals powering along before a synth solo comes out of nowhere for outro to the song. It’s a highlight that just makes the song feel awesome and epic, kind of how your dream vacation would be.

“Minerals” is one of the more powerful Slow Loris tracks as it features the template for most songs: Doyle’s voice over constant guitar chords with a drum beat working the song along, and the occasional riff emerging. It all sounds so simple, but Doyle adds in little things like a whistle here or there that pulls the ear in closer to the music and makes it harder to pull away.

Slow Loris could easily be one of the newest stars of the blogosphere emerging, with catchy and simple pop tunes that are just intricate enough to be enticing. Both Extra Colors and dream/vacation EP are available for free download at the Slow Loris bandcamp.

Download dream/vacation EP here.

Download Extra Colors here.

Check out the Slow Loris blog here, where there are some extra demos and songs for download.

–Daniel

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One response to “Review: Slow Loris – “Extra Colors” & “dream/vacation EP”

  1. Pingback: Listen: Daniel’s Top 25 (Radio Friendly) Albums of 2010 | Fresh Heirs

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