Defection CD review by

Posted 03 Jan 2018 in News, Reviews

Thursday, December 28, 2017Slow Burning Car – Defection (2017)
Written by Raymond Burris, posted by blog admin

Slow Burning Car offers up a 10-track, hard rockin’ groove fest on their 4th record Defection. This twin guitar, energetic group mixes grand melodies with a rough, unpolished edge that is sure to ignite a spirited little mosh-pit at one of the band’s many concerts. With airplay on 130 stations, this Los Angeles bred quartet has made quite an impact since their inception.
The aesthetic Slow Burning Car settles on is as follows; not too heavy but certainly not too light. Songs toss and turn between punk-fed melodies with a lot of pop phrasings and white knuckle guitar heroics where riff and rowdiness are king. Lead-in number “Alpha Duplicor” is a prime example, the cut settling into a meaty, drop-D groove that allows the 2nd guitarist to add leads and insert melodic indentations. Bassist/vocalist Troy Spiropoulos constantly pushes the riffs into action with his bouncy, clearly felt bass lines lifting up from underneath as his voice’s well-contained anger never crushes any of the melodic intentions. “Soul Crimes” is just as loud but ups the pacing by several clicks and weaves some harmonies into the vocals. They’ve got a cool, breezy punk vibe that culls from goodtime punkers like Pulley or even Avail. The mix of hard and soft mainly, not the exact dynamics of those bands; that’s one of Slow Burning Car’s biggest strengths, the fact that they really only sound like themselves.
“The Orb” uses punk as a foundation but messes with some new wave, FX-dabbed vocal harmonies in the chorus. It’s an unusual track from the beginning. Drummer Adam Idell smashes out the intro solo with a syncopated, madman fill and the tune goes tumbling into down tuned riffs and angry, rhythmic vocal jabs. They combine at least three different elements of genre and mash them up into a seamless barrage of sound. “Devil in the Room” has got the kind of pop punk smarts that could easily land these guys a record deal with Epitaph; it’s no-nonsense and harder than the stuff that radio plays. “The Sunday Derby” might stop for some catchy lyrical turns of phrase but this song feels like some twisted, gussied up version of really rocked-out 90s indie that is sandwiched in by another couple chord rocker, “You Can’t Stay Here.” “Bedtime” is a fine acoustic guitar ditty, a sort of couplet alongside the equally sublime “Chrysanthemum.” Just when you think the record is going to settle into a singular vibe, the band again pitches a curve in the form of “Polar Warden,” a psychedelic rock piece with a tapestry of loops, sound FX, molten bass riffs and sporadic vocals floating like vapor from your stereo speakers. “Clouds” brings the album home with some epic, skyward guitar riffing, overcast drumming and stormy low-end yielding an emotionally stirring hard rocker that couldn’t have found better placement as a final number.
Defection is really in its own league as an album. It’s fresh, original and pretty rocking with a challenging songwriting approach that skips across several rock genres. You can tell the band really enjoy and get down on their sound and this plays out to the listener’s advantage while listening to the record. This album rocks hard and is a lot of fun; well-worth a buy for rock, punk, indie, grunge, and even
hardcore fans.

Posted by Troy

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