Slug Comparison Signs with Netherlands-based label Rock Company

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What a great feeling to share this news which has been brewing over the past few weeks. The gist is that my four EPs, Slug Comparison IIa, b, c, and d will be compiled and released on CD later this year with some new material added in. I thought I was going to take a break for the rest of the year–Not so!–I’ve now got studio time booked in August and preparations have begun for the new recordings.

Click here for the official press release, and to see what musical company Rock Company has put Slug Comparison in.

To stay abreast of the yet-to-be-determined release date, among other things, do your duty and Like our fbook page and Rock Company’s page and join their newsletter. Whatever you’re comfortable with.

Slug Comparison IIb – Download

Click here for the new EP. IIb final cover

These songs are dedicated to the memory of Eric Rose—roommate, friend, and creative accomplice. He was around a lot when Fen was getting started. His leg appears on the cover of the first album (2000), right next to the meat creature. He painted a Fen flag to hang up during shows, and his design became the band logo. The song “Dragonflies” (2003) was called “Eric Song” before it was released, because he was drumming when the main riff was born. His maniacal laughter can be heard in the fadeout of “Cockroach Eyelids” (2006); he couldn’t laugh on demand, so with the mic in front of him, he insisted I jab my fingers into his ribs as hard as I could, while he sat in a chair like a person interrogated, in the parking lot storage room where we were recording. In the lyrics of “Summer ‘99” (2016), Eric is remembered as “a friend with head in hand,” which recalls again the photo shoot for that first Fen album: while Sam and I were in his aunt and uncle’s kitchen in Fruitvale, figuring out how to stitch together the animal parts we’d brought from Vancouver, Eric showed up at the end of the driveway with a still-warm chicken head from a neighbour’s farm, this after swearing to us days before that he wanted nothing to do with the project. Now almost six years after his death, Eric is still part of my life and my music, and I don’t think these songs will be the end of his artistic visitations. I miss him all the time.
–Doug

 

 

FREE: New Slug Comparison EP

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.

The Process – lyrics

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.

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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

Observations from Jester Prog Blog

France-based Jester Prog Blog posted a review here. One observation made by reviewer J-Yves is that though many of the songs on the Slug Comparison album are short–around 4 minutes–they go through several transformations which make them seem more developed, like an 8-10 minute song by Haken or Pain of Salvation.

First Review from France

Bad Ass from France’s Rock-Station has written the first French language review of Slug Comparison, and has called Long Live the Night “le chef d’oeuvre de l’album.” In an email to me, he jokingly admitted to have listened to the song upwards of 8000 times already. That’s roughly the same number of times I listened back to the song as I was writing and recording it, so it’s great to know that someone else had been through the same experience. Read the review here.