Defection CD Review by

Posted 03 Jan 2018 in News, Reviews

Music You Can Use
A blog documenting the best in Americana music – blues, folk, bluegrass, country, and singer/songwriter fare included. Pop music is our thing too – we want to cover it all for you the reader.Thursday, December 28, 2017 Slow Burning Car – Defection (2017) Written by Larry Robertson,
Slow Burning Car’s Defection is a smashing rock album, nothing more and nothing less. If you want some no frills hard-rock with a modern edge then you’ll get 10 tracks of firmly footed, rock solid, riff-centric groove that manages a few intricate stylistic juxtapositions throughout. Each song is individually sound and the entire album feels sonically cohesive as opposed to a simple collection of songs. The gusty, hard-rock slam of “Alpha Duplicor” sets things off like a powder keg fuse. Going back to the sort of heavy grooves that predated nu-metal’s banal dreck; a dual guitar screech peddles lockstep riffs and spiraling solos that are kept aloft by a homing missile accurate rhythm section and memorable vocal patterns. Bands like Hum and Shiner went this route on their formative albums before Korn and Limp Bizket owned the airwaves and the only big difference between Slow Burning Car and the early works of 90s indie heavies is that they sport a more polished production sheen. “Soul Crimes” kicks into a punk-y overdrive all about the crunchy, guitar driven verses leading up to choruses that are inviting as all get-out in terms of catchy, harmonized wordplay. They interject the same invigorating flair into “The Orb” but alter the background harmonies with some light auto-tuned vocals and dig into a tougher, percussive backbeat while pumping the final product full of noise rock guitar frequencies and sizzling lead/solo outbursts. “The Devil in the Room,” “The Sunday Derby” and “You Can’t Stay Here” all use punk rock as the main root of their sound while screwing around with the abrasive noise rock textures and fireball guitar solos. The end result reminds me of experimental punks Victory and Associates or even late 90s legends Adayinthelife. These bands may not have been hugely popular though they delivered unique, innovative takes on punk/hardcore/rock that are well-worth a dedicated listen even long after their respective heydays.
Elsewhere the album goes for all-out experimentalism on the moody, acoustic pairing of “Bedtime” and “Chrysanthemum.” These subdued journeys into texture and dual acoustic guitar layers call to mind Husker Du’s work circa the underrated Warehouse Songs. “Polar Warden” is a cosmic space-rock jam that’s prime foundation lies within a looping, delay-drenched bass line as splashy cymbals, orchestral keyboards and flashes of drippy guitar melody color the track’s background with plentiful harmonic, ambiguous shades of sound. Album endnote “Clouds” is the heaviest track on Defection. It’s not directly heavy seeing as highly melodic vocals, celestial guitar drones and plundering rhythms conjure more of a space-y, dreamy groove grind ala Hum’s grand compositions on Downward is Heavenward. This piece even drifts off into the same sort of lumbering, pavement cracking riffs that Hum laid down during their heaviest moments.
Defection is a sonically diverse, ever-flowing set of songs that has numerous peaks and valleys. The band crests high and dives low to bring back the kind of energy that will have you nodding your head and tapping your toes throughout. Quite frankly, Defection doesn’t have a dull song in the bunch and rock fans should have a field day with this one; good stuff through and through.

Posted by Troy

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