By: Forrest Cook
Crank the speakers on this one before pressing the play button for maximum effect.
A new Dallas band, Sloth Fist, has self-released their debut demo Live Slow, Die Whenever, which offers a unique scope on the genre of punk rock as a whole, and kind of defies subcategorization into the countless and often interestingly-titled subgenres of punk music. (I still for the life of me can’t identify the parameters that define gravel-core.)
How do I put this? Sloth Fist is a ‘70s/‘80s/‘90s-era punk band for the modern 2000’s listener. They are a Three Links band, with a sound that can provide a culpable blanket over the myriad assortment of talented (and untalented) specifically punk acts that adorn and beautify the DFW scene with their diversity.
In other words, they are a generic punk band… but everyone knows the only time a generic brand falls short is when it comes to Xanax, and Sloth Fist’s new EP does not fall short. (I should clarify, here, that this statement is meant to be taken figuratively, as Live Slow, Die Whenever is only eleven minutes long.)
Live Slow, Die Whenever is a fun little four-track EP that’ll definitely put you in the mood for a casual meet-up with your buds, and goes well with Rancid, Dropkick Murphys and Motörhead. Thoughtful lyrics and signatures from front man, Eric Daniels (the man behind the sloth) touch on topics ranging from old school video games to social injustice, and—you guessed it—Robin Hood. That’s right. Robin Hood shows up in his dashing green tights, and one can only hope that the rest of the band doesn’t decide to follow suit.
“Choose to Hate” is a ferocious volley of aggression hurled at those otherwise would-be aggressors impeding the progression of our society with their thoughts on nationalism, bigotry, and genetic superiority (if one can call those thoughts, even). This song is a stage-rusher for sure. Heavy power chords and winding up-and-down dead notes mixed with drummer Ralph Genovez’ heavy-handed trench-digging provide necessary conveyance for the absolute onslaught that is Daniel’s voice, heavily reminiscent of The Hookers’ growl master, The Rock and Roll Outlaw, who is absolutely, under no circumstances, to be f**ked with. “If you choose to hate a man whose god differs from you, / If you choose to hate a man because he’s a different hue, / If you choose to hate a man for the consenting adult he screws, / I have one thing to say… FUCK YOU”
The rest of the album takes on a different tone. Though still blasting leather jacket beats out of the bedroom with songs of N-E-S-teryear, big dreams, and the frustrations incipient in a budding society unhinged, the following tracks offer a little more fist-pumping, perhaps, and a little less fist-punching. The band even stretches their metal legs a bit with the social justice ballad of Sherwood Forest, “tightTIGHTtights”, giving a sense of their thrash metal influences and capabilities.
Live Slow, Die Whenever ends on a rocking note with “New Perspective”. It’s the most multi-faceted song on the album with an eclectic dynamism that shows off (IMO) Sloth Fist’s true uncompromising form as a dirty punk rock and roll band. Simple, well-timed solos commingle with bassist Maxey’s raw, energetic rhythm as Genovez’s unwavering punk rock technique resolves in a sound I’ve come to associate with the greatest neighborhood in all the world – Deep Ellum. God bless Rock and Roll… or whatever.
Bandcamp link : https://slothfist.bandcamp.com/releases