The Ringmaster is a rare kind of reviewer who puts everything he’s got into the language of his writing. Read his thoughts on Slug Comparison’s latest recording IIa. You can still download it for FREE from Bandcamp. Help yourself, and please share the link with whomever.
It’s called IIa because it’s the second Slug Comparison recording, and because it’s the first of a series of EPs.
Go to bandcamp and download the three-song EP for FREE before I change my mind.
Timeless thanks to Fen guitarist Sam Levin for learning all my parts and writing some fantastic solos. Thanks also to Doug Fury at Fortissimo Sound, Randall Stoll, and Mike Young. It was a privilege working with all of you. Matt McCallum (wherever you are), thanks for those jams ten years ago that led to “Becoming.” And thanks to all friends, family, and faraway strangers who’ve helped keep my inspiration and motivation alive.
Trying to recoup the cost of a recording with sales revenue from that recording has proven to be laughable. Moaning about it is even more laughable, yet it’s surprising hard to quell those pathetic lamentations. The best cure is to apply for grants. I’ve got an application in for Slug Comparison, and Fen‘s got one in as well. In about ten weeks the decision-makers at FACTOR will share their lordly ruling.
It’s time I explained my lack of updates about new music. Back in April, tendinitis started bugging my arms again, so I put the guitar aside. Unfortunately, without it I can’t work on the material I’d intended for the next Slug Comparison album. My plan is to wait as long as it takes for my tendinitis to become manageable again. That could be a while–I can say for sure there won’t be an album in 2016, despite what I’d promised earlier. Right now, all I can say is that I’ll get it done as soon as my body allows. In the meantime, thanks for checking in.
In January I started writing lyrics for 19 new songs. On April 18 I fbooked that I was done the first drafts. For me, first drafts are not very far along in the process of finding the right words, but by then I have an idea of what each song is about. Since then I’ve been revising over and over (cycling alphabetically by title from song to song) until I’m either satisfied or feeling so helpless at fixing the problems that I move on. Today I’m relieved to announce that apart from a few lines that I’ll eventually go back to fix, I’m done the lyrics for what could be the next two (?) Slug Comparison albums.
As evidence of my process, which unfortunately is not a magic beam of inspirational light that enters the top of my head and refracts onto the page in the form of well-crafted song lyrics that happen to match the vocal melodies I’ve long ago committed to, I’m providing a jpg of a song in progress. Each song requires 5-20 of these marked up pages to reach a state of almost-doneness. That’s my process.
I’d be a jerk if I didn’t include an excerpt of a done-ish song. So here’s one:
in the boiling ocean people float up and die
you can hear the blisters going pop in the night
when the planet’s nothing but a morsel of char
see the moon drift in the darkness
kind of lonely, but alright with it
armageddon fantasies help me unwind
a little stress won’t matter at the end of time
let the secret service fear I’m hatching plans
yes I dwell on our extinction
but I’m harmless as a kitten most of the time
I get along with those around me
at my job they like me well
in the realm of normal conversation
certain thoughts I know not to tell
My old roommate Kevin (circa Fen‘s first jam house) asked me to do guest vocals on track 3 of his solo EP. He made things really easy for me, recording scratch versions of all the parts himself–all I had to do was listen then sing them back. I love how the song takes its time to build. And the guitar lead over the last couple of minutes is so tonally rich, I can’t help but be reminded of David Gilmour. Have a listen to the song, and the rest of the EP.
It’s a little pathetic, but sometimes when I’m at the end of my rope with music, I google Slug Comparison in search for even the tiniest hint from the universe that I should keep at it. Yesterday I did just that, having been submerged in the gruel of lyric-writing for the past two months. Lucky for my sagging ego, and for the songs I’ve only partially finished, I found this review from Metal Imperium. They give the album a 9.2/10 and call it “a pleasant surprise that pays off every minute” (translated from Portuguese).
So with that niblet of positivity, I’ll keep working.