May 26, 2024

Slow Down Molasses – Burnt Black Cars

14th May 2015, Culvert Music / Caroline International

I have a weakness for shoegaze – there’s not much better than distortion, fuzz and feedback, especially on a sweet pop tune. Slow Down Molasses are a Canadian band, here claiming to channel the spirit of Paris 1968. You know – “sous les trottoirs, le plage” and the Situationists. Me, I reckon that if you have something to say lyrically, burying the vocals in waves of fuzz is probably not the way to go. That aside, this is a warm slab of noisy fun.

Opening nicely with plucked and struck distorted strings, simple pop melodies are subjected to layers of rough guitar and fuzztone. There are touches of My Morning Jacket in the high-toned vocals and a nod to New Order in the low guitar melody. Sometimes the rhythm section gets low and crunchy, sometimes we get broken female vocals. Loud ringing sounds, rushing motions and shimmering effects carry us on.

Tyson McShane was aiming to create a feeling of normal human moments against a backdrop of conflict and struggle. I’d say he’s done a good job of it here. Don’t Forget The Youth is big, fuzzed up and thunderous and stands against other moments that are echoey and slow. The closer, Underneath The Cobblestones, takes an instrumental trip to that Parisian moment and staggers before collapsing under its own weight in guitars. The album creates an overall effect that is largely warm and comforting, like a fuzzy sonic blanket.

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