Slander Tongue


Slander Tongue Monochrome LP

I really liked this band’s debut self-titled full-length, and was excited to see what they’d cooked up in the past couple of years. I’m mostly happy to report that while the sound is just a touch slinkier and snakier, it maintains its core of driving rock‘n’roll that carries echoes of giants like the ROLLING STONES without merely staley worshiping at the altar. The recipe hasn’t been tweaked much, the guitar work relies heavily on that back-and-forth boogie sound lifted from classic rhythm and blues music for decades, and the drums keep your ass wiggling throughout. What I will say is that I’m missing some of the warmth and recklessness of the band’s debut. Everything’s dialed-in and tidy, but that’s not what everyone wants from rock‘n’roll, is it? With some extra polish, I feel more distanced from the material. It lacks the immediacy, the broken glass on the floor, the stains on the bathroom stall door at a really great dive. Maybe that’s all artifice in itself, but if I get to choose the dream world I live in, I prefer one with cheap drinks where I can smoke inside. This time around, it’s more of a signature cocktail lounge and I’d better take my cigs the hell outside or else.

Slander Tongue Ride / Lockdown 7″

While it’s good enough to hold my attention, this glam-focused single isn’t my favorite thing I’ve heard all month. The A-side starts off well enough, but it feels like it’s supposed to go somewhere, and it just doesn’t. Jesus, finish me. The B-side is a little less glam and a little more punk, but it still is missing something for me. Sort of mid-tempo and catchy, just not compelling. I feel like Slovenly is generally pretty dependable. I’d say this was a little disappointing.

Slander Tongue Slander Tongue LP

Slovenly remains the standard bearer for rock’n’roll that’s vital and unstuck from time. SLANDER TONGUE brings a megaton of swagger from Germany in a debut that’s beyond self-assured. You know that rare balance a band strikes where not a note feels out of place but is backed by enough grit that it never feels sterile? That’s the magic trick of these eleven cuts—unrelenting, big bad windmill-strummed guitar anthems that make you want to saw the roof off your car and go for an endless drive. There’s so much that can go wrong in this genre, and a lot of rock imitators sound too scrubbed up or washed out, but those common pitfalls are avoided with smart decisions made on the page and in the sound booth. Songs like “Shattered Girl” really showcase the goods—an anchored rhythm in the drums and bass that ride clean throughout wiry riffing that goes all over without losing the plot. Throw in some backup harmony and you’ve got a potent brew to keep coming back to.