I had forgotten about the goodness of the Slow Christmas single in the link, above. It's wonderful that someone saved that old flexidisk and digitalized it. "Santa Claus is Back in Town" sung by the slightly scary Elvis, barely keeping it in check.
Re-listened to the first Circle C/Copyright album last night, 'cause of this thread. When I first got it, some 20 years ago, I was disappointed at how non-Slow it was, and I almost re-sold it after first listen. Over the long haul, though, I've listened to it way more than the Slow e.p., and maybe even more than any other album I have, to be honest. It's a grower, I guess. I'm not sure what to compare it to. Maybe the later period Grifters? Maybe not, it's probably a little more, I dunno, mainstream rock in some ways? Maybe comparable to some of Nick Cave's stuff? Maybe comparisons are no help here. A variety of instruments, beyond electrical guitars and drums (there's mandolins, rock and roll piano, a kora) applied to a lot of songs about death, as it turns out (death in a car on a bridge in vancouver, in a hospital, near a resort in mexico, in lake tahoe, etc). Some are loud and fast, some are slow and quiet, some stop and start a bit. And most of all, the singer seems absolutely there, committed in all of them, even when the words are unclear. The words to the songs don't seem to be broken into verses and choruses at all, just pouring out in short blurting anecdotes. After probably a hundred listens, the band seems impossibly tight and right, as well.
And, in re-listening to the Slow e.p. itself, it really doesn't sound that grunge at all. But, thinking about when it was released, no wonder it was unusual, and no wonder people (ok, not many people) make big claims for it's impact on others. It wasn't hardcore, it sure wasn't straight edge. It wasn't metal, and it wasn't any kind of thing hip people in 1986 could latch on to. It's just a big, very ugly rock record, put out when it seemed like no one else was doing that. Maybe the Nils, all the way over on the other side of Canada, had similar moments. Maybe some other people did elsewhere in the world, too.
And, yeah, that interview was terrific to read! Found a muchmusic interview with the band on youtube: , as well.
― pauls00, Monday, 17 January 2011 20:47 (2 years ago) Permalink
Saw them a lot back in the day. Never missed a show by them or Nomeansno. Slow were not a Grunge band, but they were a ProtoGrunge band. They had the whole "fuck, whatever" attitude down, and a non-ironic love for good Rock music. They were music fans. They were also pretty young and reckless when they started out. Not old enough to be in the bars they were playing. The thing about the studio tracks is... they are nothing compared with one of their live shows, which veered from the sublime to the ridiculous. No doubt in your readings you came across mention of them inciting a riot at Expo 86. As far as a musical experience that evening, they were horrible... but for performance art... they blew the place up. Their shows always had a level of hysteria and chaos that was very exciting. Sadly, I've never seen any live video footage, but here's a live cut of them performing a Nazareth cover as the final song of their final show... a show, BTW, with Green River... who soon after split up and formed Mudhoney and Pearl Jam. The Green River boys were pretty crazy ProtoGrungers too... but believe me, they took notes.
PS The post Slow career for for most of the band members has been spotty, at best. Anselmi and one of the guitarist went on to form Copyright... give that a miss (although, if you can find the demo under the name of ©, grab that). The rhythm section went on to for a full on Grunge band called Tankhog that weren't too bad, but short lived. The second guitarist joined a band called the Scramblers, who were intermittently good
― A. Pearson, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 03:07 (2 years ago) Permalink
love slow. they went to my high school!
― symsymsym, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 03:12 (2 years ago) Permalink
just cued up the youtube for have not been the same for while washing dishes. immediately had to go back and crank the shit cuz the opening riff & tone were so filthy. uh, shame about the vocalist. band sounds equally great on the midtempo blues verses and on the speedy punked-up chorus. but that fucking riff!
rejecting the idea that anyone might have been "proto-grunge" in 86, though. that year saw the sub pop 100 comp, and the word was entering use in seattle through pavitt's rocket weekly column, iirc. maybe more to the point: C/Z records' hugely influential deep six comp early that year w/ green river, melvins, soundgarden, skin yard, u-men and malfunkshun. also green river's dry as a bone EP (on the heels of their homestead debut from 85). collectively, this stuff represents the recorded genesis point of "the seattle sound." many of these bands had been playing shows since 84 or earlier, though. see also 64 spiders, the thrown ups, bundle of hiss... 1st couple halo of flies 45s on amrep likewise = 86.
ALL THAT SAID, i do wonder whether the fuck you punk energy that came to characterize grunge in 86-88 was in part a product of slow. green river in '85 certainly sounded a hell of a lot less slow-like than they did in '87/88. the bands on the deep six comp generally tend to a dirgey, psychedelic, 70s metal-influenced version of grunge, anticipating the likes of alice in chains.
― normal_fantasy-unicorns (contenderizer), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 04:12 (2 years ago) Permalink
I like the singer though... He has charisma at what is obviously a very young age and, unlike many loud underground bands since, actually projects it past the noise. He seems to have a very '80s singing style which clashes with the music's giant riffs, but it's better on 'Against The Glass.'
Maybe Slow ain't decades early like The Monks, but they were definitely loud and interesting early in an area where things may have been loud, but it would be a tiny bit before things got interesting.
Others have said that the band reminds them even more of what Touch And Go would be doing a few years later more than Sub Pop and I tend to agree. I can hear a line between Slow and, say, Didgits, though I have no idea if they or any of that crop heard the band at all.
The EP is hard to track down, sadly... It sold on eBay a couple months ago for $20 which I would have paid but no listings anywhere else that I can find.
― NYCNative, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 04:52 (2 years ago) Permalink
I actually reviewed their album (EP?) when it came out--the one with "Have Not Been the Same." Gave it a very good review at the time (primarily the one song, probably), but I'd be surprised if I liked it as much today.
― clemenza, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 04:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
I just checked, and I still have my (mint) copy. Make me an offer!
― clemenza, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 05:00 (2 years ago) Permalink
(Trade-wise, I mean, not money. Click on my handle and e-mail me.)
― clemenza, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 05:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
I can hear a line between Slow and, say, Didgits, though I have no idea if they or any of that crop heard the band at all.
dunno about the T&G crowd in general, didjits definitely. they were always outliers on that label tho. love & miss you, mr. sims.
― normal_fantasy-unicorns (contenderizer), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 05:02 (2 years ago) Permalink
cuing up hornet piñata & pouring one out
― normal_fantasy-unicorns (contenderizer), Tuesday, 1 February 2011 05:04 (2 years ago) Permalink
I sent you an email Clemenza... Thanks!
― NYCNative, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 05:10 (2 years ago) Permalink
I responded, but I did this before, and I think you have to include your actual e-mail address; I don't think a response to the ILX-mediated e-mail gets through.
― clemenza, Tuesday, 1 February 2011 05:18 (2 years ago) Permalink
Email me at e7jey4a02 @ sneakemail.com.Yes, it's a real address! :) Thanks!
― NYCNative, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 15:54 (2 years ago) Permalink
Also, I emailed the store/label that put out the EP and here is the exchange:
----- Original Message ----- From: "Brian O'Neill"To: Zulu RecordsSent: Monday, January 31, 2011 8:08 AMSubject: Slow - Against The Glass EP
> Greetings!>> Any plans on reissuing this EP on CD, maybe with the band's single?> A new generation of fans needs to hear this. I only recently found> out about Slow and I would gladly pay for a CD of the stuff instead of> the MP3s I found online.>> Brian O'Neill> Upper Darby, PA
-----Original Message-----From: Zulu RecordsSent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 3:48 PMTo: Brian O'NeillSubject: Re: Slow - Against The Glass EP
We and Mint Records have worked on it with the band for a few years...and constantly the band decides that they don't want the project to goahead.
― NYCNative, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 15:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
Never had the chance to see the band in any of its permutations, but I did hear two Tankhog stories from friends - one of which involved the lead singer jumping onto the bar in a near-empty venue and smashing glasses while continuing to perform, and another involving refusing to let the band sleep overnight at his house because at least one of them had a tendency to piss himself while sleeping.
You can find one of the Slow songs in digital format if you can find the Zulu compilation Last Call, which has a lot of other really fantastic music on it too, so definitely worth seeking out either way.
― Sean Carruthers, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 17:46 (2 years ago) Permalink
Also forgot... immediately after slow, Hamm and Terry (bass and drums) we part of shortlived, lumbering, theatrical Metal outfit called Ögre, who were pretty fucking great...
― A. Pearson, Thursday, 3 February 2011 17:45 (2 years ago) Permalink
NYC -- this record is still yours if you want it, but I need an address...
― clemenza, Friday, 4 February 2011 01:50 (2 years ago) Permalink
I just replied again, Phil...
― NYCNative, Friday, 4 February 2011 13:03 (2 years ago) Permalink
Clemenza is a God who not only sent me the EP but refused a penny more than postage and handling costs upon the threat of not cashing the check.
Public notariety and thanks to this guy who is just awesome, as awesome as the wonderful slab of vinyl I can now crank whenever I want (and will).
― NYCNative, Sunday, 6 March 2011 11:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
Thanks--glad it wasn't damaged in transit.
Lucy Liu, are you paying attention? I'm a god.
― clemenza, Sunday, 6 March 2011 18:42 (2 years ago) Permalink