Dudes – Sloth Eyes EP 7.7
This is the first Dudes release in the burgeoning genre of ‘slothcore’. Music can be so fast. When it is slowed down to the pace of molasses it can get unusually good. This is wonderful. Slowcore has nothing on the slowness of what is going on in these six tracks. Here everything is so microscopic in development that it is heartfelt. 
                ‘xenarthran’ is reminiscent of Earth at their most-country and most-gone. Here it lingers. Occasionally the guitar player remembers to hit a string every now and then. The space and time spent is worth it though, particularly towards the end where the tension becomes something dramatic. ‘cecropia’ follows where ‘xenarthran’ left off with a bit more in terms of sadness. A few moments of the song almost verge on tears. Tone more than melody takes over creating an emotional connection despite the slow pace. ‘let me count your vertebrae’ ends the EP on near-NAP status, with the sheer level of slowness and repetition borrowing themselves into the brain. 
                Calm doesn’t even begin to describe what is happening. Does this sound like it was recorded in a basement two decades ago, left there, and only discovered a couple minutes ago and re-mastered like garbage? Yes it does and that is its biggest selling point. ‘Sloth Eyes’ proves that fast and fidelity are glimmering sheens without meaning. With the time spent, the melodies stumbled upon, and the atmosphere of the recording it is touching the way grimy cassette culture is touching. It reaches the innermost part of the soul and says ‘hi’.

Dudes – Sloth Eyes EP 7.7

This is the first Dudes release in the burgeoning genre of ‘slothcore’. Music can be so fast. When it is slowed down to the pace of molasses it can get unusually good. This is wonderful. Slowcore has nothing on the slowness of what is going on in these six tracks. Here everything is so microscopic in development that it is heartfelt. 

                ‘xenarthran’ is reminiscent of Earth at their most-country and most-gone. Here it lingers. Occasionally the guitar player remembers to hit a string every now and then. The space and time spent is worth it though, particularly towards the end where the tension becomes something dramatic. ‘cecropia’ follows where ‘xenarthran’ left off with a bit more in terms of sadness. A few moments of the song almost verge on tears. Tone more than melody takes over creating an emotional connection despite the slow pace. ‘let me count your vertebrae’ ends the EP on near-NAP status, with the sheer level of slowness and repetition borrowing themselves into the brain. 

                Calm doesn’t even begin to describe what is happening. Does this sound like it was recorded in a basement two decades ago, left there, and only discovered a couple minutes ago and re-mastered like garbage? Yes it does and that is its biggest selling point. ‘Sloth Eyes’ proves that fast and fidelity are glimmering sheens without meaning. With the time spent, the melodies stumbled upon, and the atmosphere of the recording it is touching the way grimy cassette culture is touching. It reaches the innermost part of the soul and says ‘hi’.

Low – C’mon 8.6

Low take their time in making their albums. Their last album came out in 2007, “Drums and Guns”. Before that, we had “The Great Destroyer” in 2004. Even their albums I haven’t been too keen on still show a band dedicated to a peculiarly slow-tempo vision. Their work’s quality justifies this slow approach.

                This might be the album that brings me back to their underrated album “Trust” or the better received “Things We Lost in the Fire” phase. For me, “The Great Destroyer” felt overproduced and drowned out a lot of what made them so special. “Drums and Guns” had that drum machine which gave the proceedings a kind of far-off feel. When I listen to Low, I usually like their more intimate, graspable sound. Having a drum machine and other electronic effects took away from that, for me at least.

                So “C’mon” makes me happy from the first song “Try to sleep”. As it starts up, I’m glad. Most of the album has similar moments. “You see everything” sounds fantastic, like a long-lost early 90s pop song. It sounds elegant, large, yet still has the fragility Low excels at. “$20” has no percussion at all; it is the sparest out of the bunch (which is saying something for Low).

                I’m happy to see they’ve embraced a lower-key approach this time around. Hearing the delicate drum work is a nice relief after the bombast and artificial sounds which populated the last two albums. This sounds more like a proper follow-up to “Trust”. 

                A dreamy attitude is present all over the album. Maybe it has to do with the guitars or the lyrics themselves. Either way, it is greatly enjoyable. The longest song “Nothing But Heart” even gives credence to this as it soars out of control towards the end (it actually gets surprisingly wild but the 8 minute length makes it feel justified). 

                Personally, I’m enjoying this album a lot. That Low I knew and loved, with its slow pace and quiet dynamics had come back after a several year hiatus. I welcome them back. C’mon is a hug for the ears from a friend who had me worried.

Codeine – The White Birch 9.2

Slowcore exists only in the winter for me. I don’t know why, but when winter gets here, it feels like it lasts forever. Maybe that has to do with its very uniform approach: cold and sad. The White Birch, Codeine’s last album, has remained a staple for winters ever since I first heard it. Lacking any sort of happiness, it kind of embodies the winter for me: plain, dull, and a black hole of emotion. 

Each time as I see my breath in the cold air, the songs pop into my head. It works as some kind of genetic disposition. Unlike a lot of slowcore, it tends to be a bit more experimental, mixing occasional blasts of anger and volume. These elements are used almost as punctuation throughout the album.

Length-wise, it is a relatively short album, clocking in at about 43 minutes. Things get started with a quiet, clean song “Sea”. Usually if a band starts out with a long song, it means they have some sort of faith in it. That faith is justified here. It set the tone for what’s in store for you, easing you in slowly to the angst.

Angst abounds throughout the album. Somehow it avoids being whiny. Resigned would be a better term for it, the singer/speaker doesn’t appear particularly distraught at the point. He’s still working through all the motions, and you get to experience them with him. Honestly, I want more singers in this vein, but it seems that it was more acceptable in the early 90s, when emotions were allowed to be real. 

“Loss Leader” includes a great amount of distortion and volume. One of the album highlights comes across as a disturbed valentine, a beautiful song called “Vacancy”. Perhaps this is the closest they come to anything resembling happiness. The tempo continues at the pace of molasses, at points coming across more as decoration than as keeping time. 

Towards the end we get the border personality disorder of “Wird”. Veering radically between near silence and frustrated noise, it is a dozy. If there was going to be a song you could compare to Slint on here, it would be this piece. They channel Slint’s rage and confusion. It moves from noise, to silence, to gorgeous melody. 

If you need to stay in on a boring winter night feeling kind of down, you could do far worse than these guys. What is surprising is after you’re done, you feel better.

This is the most ambitious quiet music I’ve ever  heard. Since autumn comes in full swing, with sweaters being brought out  of the closets, I figured now would be a good time. Listening to such  quiet music, it is like the knee jerk reaction to loud, stupid,  overbearing mainstream music. 
 “I could live in Hope” avoids most of the  egoism of rock and roll. None of the players appear to be particularly  interested in soloing at any time. Rather, the sum is greater than the  total of their parts. By the way, they don’t actually rock. There’s  nothing on this album to indicate such a thing.
Most  of their music following this album followed a similar format. Vocals  seem to float together in space. The bass appears to be particularly  prominent, though that may also be due to the lack of volume. According  to legend, during their first few performances, they got heckled for  their quiet attitude. Rather than satisfy those annoying Duluth crowds,  they put the volume down. Now if that isn’t the most polite punk thing  to do, I don’t know what is.
 Slowcore basically got invented by these  guys. From the beginning of their career, they knew how to keep things  moving at the pace of molasses. Plus, in case being slow wasn’t enough,  they stripped down rock to a guitar, bass, and the sparest drum kit  known to man.
 “Words” starts things off sort of  explaining their mindset. The lyrics “Too many words” and “I can’t hear  them” dive deep into your brain, as does the vocal delivery. It is a  unique delivery. “Down” and “Drag” are probably some of their best songs  to date.
Autumn marks the beginning of browned lawns  and dead leaves. I really think the album sort of captures that quiet  desperation. Unlike Codeine, the music doesn’t get particularly  experimental. No loud surprises are in store for you; just one of the  few bands carving out their own niche in an overcrowded field.

This is the most ambitious quiet music I’ve ever heard. Since autumn comes in full swing, with sweaters being brought out of the closets, I figured now would be a good time. Listening to such quiet music, it is like the knee jerk reaction to loud, stupid, overbearing mainstream music. 


“I could live in Hope” avoids most of the egoism of rock and roll. None of the players appear to be particularly interested in soloing at any time. Rather, the sum is greater than the total of their parts. By the way, they don’t actually rock. There’s nothing on this album to indicate such a thing.


Most of their music following this album followed a similar format. Vocals seem to float together in space. The bass appears to be particularly prominent, though that may also be due to the lack of volume. According to legend, during their first few performances, they got heckled for their quiet attitude. Rather than satisfy those annoying Duluth crowds, they put the volume down. Now if that isn’t the most polite punk thing to do, I don’t know what is.


Slowcore basically got invented by these guys. From the beginning of their career, they knew how to keep things moving at the pace of molasses. Plus, in case being slow wasn’t enough, they stripped down rock to a guitar, bass, and the sparest drum kit known to man.


“Words” starts things off sort of explaining their mindset. The lyrics “Too many words” and “I can’t hear them” dive deep into your brain, as does the vocal delivery. It is a unique delivery. “Down” and “Drag” are probably some of their best songs to date.

Autumn marks the beginning of browned lawns and dead leaves. I really think the album sort of captures that quiet desperation. Unlike Codeine, the music doesn’t get particularly experimental. No loud surprises are in store for you; just one of the few bands carving out their own niche in an overcrowded field.