reviews of the moment
SLAWTERHAUS 5 — s/t
Whatever happened to good Winston- Salem power-pop? The Camel City’s exports of simple, well-executed riffs used to rival that of tobacco, but once hardcore became the prevailing musical pursuit in the late ’80s, the hook-y rock that dominated most of the previous two decades quietly declined. The veteran rockers who comprise Slawterhaus 5 rediscovered that ethos for the most part on their self-titled debut, a stirring reminder of how winning melodies and smirking resolve is the right alchemy to revive the genre. Slawterhaus 5 shows a band that’s equally adept at fl exing their muscles (“Frustrated” and “Waking Up the World”) or easing into a song’s subtleties (“That Way” and “Giving Up the Ghost”). The band employs the prototype for Southern jangle so expertly it almost feels like a collegiate rock experiment to the point that warts are a certainty, namely the singularly bad “Drive (All Night).” It’s offered up judiciously enough with a meaty bass line and crunchy guitar riff before it turns into a poor attempt at recreating Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit,” with a sickly saccharine line about looking up at the sky and into kids’ eyes. Like a good pop song should, it sticks like peanut butter, but harder to clean up. Nonetheless, the other eight songs are solid as a rock.
Slawterhaus 5 will release their debut on Friday at the Garage with Stars Explode and 220 Short.
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