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Slim Loris - Half the Glass (self-released)

9 February 2024

No one likes a pun more than I do. So, any band about to release an album titled Red Loris, Yellow Loris has got to be one worth checking out more closely. Now, I’m curious how far the humour of such a title travels; puns often only appeal to specific subgroups, but the tongue-twisting humour behind it has obviously got as far as Stockholm, Sweden, where Slim Loris is based.

“Half The Glass” immediately takes me down a rabbit hole back towards my formative years, the stygian gloom that seems to hang over the song, the swampy, brooding basslines, the precision point guitar motifs and depth charge sonics that seem to ebb and flow through the song, and the world-weary vocals all take me back to a time when those disenfranchised punks had finally decided to learn to play their instrument and set about building their post-punk kingdom.

But as much as “Half the Glass” reminds me of the 80s heydey for alternative music (and if you sneer at such a statement, like Vietnam, you weren’t there, man!), it also sounds like the future of the genre. If music is cyclical, and it is, in Slim Loris it sounds like the past is taking root in the present to create a whole new future.

If what we call alternative rock has ceased to be the alternative to anything tangible and, arguably, has itself become a part of the mainstream, then don’t we need to infect that sound with something new? Something that will warp and mutate it. Something that will suggest new future potential and purpose. Something that will erode the present landscape enough to allow room for something new to be built in its place? Just like the punks did in the ’80s when they became goths and new wavers, Blitz Kids and New Romantics, when they created New Pop and Dream-pop, post-punk and shoegaze.

Couldn’t that something be Slim Loris and bands like them? (If indeed there are any bands like them.) I think so.