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.
The Slug Comparison lyric-writing trolley has been trundling along nicely the past couple of weeks. In celebration of this rare, obstacle-free period of productivity, I’m posting lyrics from the first album. Bringer of Doom has been up there for a while already, but to this I’m adding You’ve Seen Me and Summer ’99, the latter of which has a pretty good story to go with it, but I’ll expand on that later. Isn’t this great? Now you can sing along at your computer monitor. Make sure your webcam is recording and be sure to send me the footage so I can make a video. I’m half serious. I’d be ridiculously happy if someone sent me footage of themself singing along.
Here’s a long overdue update on Slug Comparison:
I’ve been working on new songs for the past year. And I have a lot of them now at the stage where they’re ready for lyrics. That means they have verses and choruses and more or less solidified guitar parts with messily improvised solos here and there, and crappy drum programming, and a few synths, and vocal melodies and even a few harmonies. Unlike I did with the first album’s demos, I didn’t bother recording scratch bass, preferring to leave it to the pros, ie. Mike Young, when the time comes. So apart from a lack of bass, the songs are structured and organized and the result of a ridiculous amount of songwriting decisions. The remaining problems are that I’m singing gibberish and that the recordings are these awful cut and pasted, patched together, mismatched-toned, sloppily performed little wonders that would appall even the laziest audio engineer. For the most part the tracks aren’t even properly named. I’ve been berated for this on a few occasions over my recording career. In my defence, I’m always so desperately focused on sorting out the next problem in the song that I can’t seem to wrench myself away for any kind of engineering ‘housework.’
So I’m entering a cool part of the process now where I get to figure out what each song could be ‘about’ and find words to give it another layer of meaning. I don’t adhere to well to timelines for my creative output because if I’m not satisfied with something, then I just have to keep working on it. And that takes time. But my plan is to release something this year, probably late in the year. It will probably be an EP. Once that comes out, it won’t be long before there’s another EP or two or a full album. I haven’t decided yet how I’m going to batch these tunes together.
Some people might be curious about the musical direction. There’s a lot that could be considered more of the same. There’s a good mix of acoustic based songs and electric based songs. There’s one post apocalyptic sounding instrumental, which is a huge relief for me on the lyric-writing front. There are a few songs that I’ve demoed with double-kick, so I will be looking for a drummer who can take that on. There are a few songs that a few years ago I never would have been comfortable with, because they delve into major keys and sound a touch happy. Of these, a couple of them are co-written–I took this guy Matt’s guitar parts and worked them over and then wrote vocals. It’s been a long time since we’ve been in contact so he’ll be really surprised when I finally get in touch and play him what I’ve done. I can’t blame all the happiness on Matt though. I made a conscious effort to be less strict with myself and I let some happyish riffs slip through to the songwriting process. To me some of the riffs sound happy, but I was told that one of them is actually more wistful than happy. So don’t expect anything along the lines of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me.”
Jan 3, 2016
It’s actually a couple of weeks past the official release date of October 24, 2014, but whatever, if you don’t already have the album, download it for $5 on bandcamp.
If you do have it, and you like it, well, send it to a friend as an “early November gift” (?). This can be a pretty dreary time of year and a Slug Comparison album will only help to lift your friend’s sodden spirits.
Aside from writing this plug for a few more album sales, I’ve been working on a whack of new songs. My plans are to record a new album in 2016. I can’t frickin wait.
I discovered Wonderbox Metal when they reviewed the band Third Ion, a brand new bordering-on-virtuosic prog-metal project involving bassist Mike Young, who also happened to record on the Slug Comparison album. Capitalizing on this connection, I contacted Wonderbox Metal a few weeks ago, and today they posted a review which I consider to be quite generous and heartening. In describing Slug Comparison, the reviewer says, “a lot of work and effort has gone into this album, and it pays off spectacularly.” Despite being told over and over again by society that hard work pays off, I believe it’s actually kind of a rare phenomenon, which makes this quote that much more welcome. Here’s the review.
Metal World Radio‘s Headphone Meditations will feature Slug Comparison next Wednesday June 24, 2015 at 7pm Eastern time. Other bands included in Episode 28 are Voivod, CODE, King Crimson and Fates Warning. Some very good company.