The Best Music of February 2014

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Bands get crammed into our ears by the music industry. It's one of their primary business practices, whether its some fatcat in the Capitol Records building or the well-meaning mid-level indie label with enough pocket to outsource its publicity campaigns. Some cram because it's the only thing they know. Others cram to survive. If we had a Facebook relationship with the cram system the status would be “it's complicated”.

Enter Slothrust's Of Course You Do. Here's a record by a Brooklyn band that exists in the peripheral of the industry circle jerk lubricated by surficial ga-ga praise. So out of the mix, we just assumed they were from Nova Scotia. Of Course You Do captured our attention as an underdog; it took us an entire month to stop being offput by the band name, mostly due to mispronunciation (sloth-rust). No one went out of their way to cram Slothrust into our heads. It took a chance listen to “Crock Pot” to reel us in with intellectual musings on the functionality of Real Dolls, loneliness as contagion, and companion co-dependency. The duration of Of Course You Do yields further netting of our adoration via raucous solos elevating anthemic panic attacks offset by the ever-clever words of Leah Wellbaum.

The Best Album of February 2014

Combining Leah Wellbaum's slurring malaise with her punchy, post-grunge guitar, everything about Slothrust's sound feels both earnest and cathartic, like a heart that pumps raw after a winter run. The bottom end of Of Course You Do is backed by layers of distortion and lyrics that recall the casual conversataional style of Tom Waits or Fiona Apple, or even The Moldy Peaches. The best segments of the record are when Wellbaum really frees her deep vocals and breaks into punctuated melodies, showing that even the dirtiest of guitars and severest of songs can have a shine to them. The record will catch you when you dedicate yourself to listening to its lyrics, and it might have you thinking over your relationships.

The Best Music of February 2014, in no particular order: