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Slurblown | 39 Minutes And 30 Seconds Closer

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Rock: Post-Rock/Experimental Electronic: Experimental Moods: Type: Experimental
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39 Minutes And 30 Seconds Closer

by Slurblown

It parallels early Ween mixed with an early Beck. A whirlwind of new wave, surf, hip hop, heavy metal, R&B, jazz, classical, reggae, Latino and electronic music.
Genre: Rock: Post-Rock/Experimental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Pony Boy
SlurbLown
3:31 album only
clip
2. Crazy Baby
SlurbLown
4:28 album only
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3. To Ya
SlurbLown
0:56 album only
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4. Driving Ms. Pac-man
SlurbLown
3:23 album only
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5. What Is Is
SlurbLown
2:52 album only
clip
6. Pig Scripture
SlurbLown
2:41 album only
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7. Rusty Knife
SlurbLown
1:18 album only
clip
8. Karmatic
SlurbLown
2:52 album only
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9. Slew
SlurbLown
3:22 album only
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10. Karmatic (Slight Return)
SlurbLown
1:16 album only
clip
11. Cozy
SlurbLown
2:21 album only
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12. Uncle
SlurbLown
2:48 album only
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13. Pills Plates & Spoons
SlurbLown
3:34 album only
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14. Precarious
SlurbLown
3:59 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
SLurblown Serves Up a Smorgasbord of Sundry Sounds in Sequel

The variety of acts slated to release albums on the CMI label in 2007 run the gamut of musical styles - but only one can play all of them at once.

Listeners never know what to expect next with SLurblown, whose ninth record will be unveiled around 11 p.m. July 26 at a release party at Rochester’s nightlife hot spot, The Bug Jar. One second they may hear Eddie Van Halen-style hammer-ons and the next the theme to the Price is Right game show; they may be torn out of a mellow acoustic guitar riff and abruptly thrown into a danceable chant worthy of an Eastern cult; without warning they may be treated to comical sound effects or a righteous rant against capitalist greed.

“It's difficult to describe it because it's a little bit of everybody - it's country, it's heavy metal, it's punk, it's rock, it's experimental,” producer/engineer Cash Mattock said of the SLurblown style. “It parallels early Ween mixed with an early Beck.”

SLurblown interlaces random sound bytes and occasional crushing guitar solos with techno beats that never repeat themselves exactly the same way, along with every instrument under the sun - even hip hop effects that can only be described as rodents scratching like rap deejays. Although the musical styles, guitar tones, sound effects and backup instruments change unpredictably, Slur succeeds in structuring this selective smorgasbord of sound into solid songs, sans sonic superfluity.

“It encompasses confusion,” guitarist Matty Sonar said of SLurblown's style. “I would like to sound extremely eclectic. Drastically eclectic.”

Sonar aims for a “soulful” edge, or “something that will have feeling under any form of sobriety.” His songs reflect not just a wide variety of styles but of emotions, which change from anger to joy to pain without notice. One minute SLurblown's tones inspire comedy and the next, foreboding.

Sonar's musical resume is as varied as the styles of SLurblown. He has played guitar in innumerable bands encompassing every end of the spectrum, including such notable Rochester-based ones as Rock Stars, the hip hop group Midnight Dragons, the “alternative country” act Peachy Nietzsche and the improv band Gaybot, who Sonar toured with over the past year.

He is a fan of every musical genre and is always eager to add new ones to his repertoire of styles and shifts between them frequently and often abruptly on the new album.

“I've been influenced through the years by classic rock, hip hop, then heavy metal, all the way to r & b, jazz, classical, reggae, Latino and electronic music,” he said. “I think all of the music conforms to different styles. I just try to bring it all together.”

Perhaps the most amazing thing about SLurblown is not that one act can mix together every conceivable musical style at once, but that the band’s distinctive sound was conceived by one man. So was the unusual name, which “came to me when I was a kid” long before he realized that both words have special meanings in the music world. Sonar has also had the most predictable and dependable bandmates in the business: a mini-disc player for backing instruments, a keyboard, assorted guitar effects and a drum machine for a rhythm section.

“I want to get away from the idea of a one-man band,” he said. “My bandmates are just machines.”

This time around, Sonar had help from such musicians as saxophonist Chris Wicks, drummer Ryan Kemp and bassist Chris Kemp, who lent his talents to the slow but tense track “Pills Plates & Spoons,” which evokes an atmosphere subtly similar to The Beatles classic “I Am the Walrus.” The catchy second track, “Crazy Baby,” features backup vocals from his wife, Kathy Smith, in a style reminiscent of the Velvet Underground, as well as helping hands from some musicians from San Antonio, including multi-instrumentalist James Wilton.

SLurblown also had the benefit of working with much better technology than in the past, not to mention the talents of Cash Mattock, who is “an amazing person to work with,” according to Sonar.

The two labored together for about a year on what may be the first concept album in rock history built around the central idea of not having a central idea. "That's what's interesting about it. The theme that ties it all together is that there isn't one," Sonar said.

Just because the tunes are replete with discordant changes of style, were written and repeatedly revised over the last six years and have no common thread doesn’t mean they lack significance. “There are a lot of hidden messages I suppose,” Sonar said. “A lot of them are inspired by different things that have happened in my life and relationships.”

“Crazy Baby,” for example, tells the tale of how he met Kathy while playing basketball. The catchy disco feel of “Cozy” is interrupted by a variety of musical interludes, including an off-key chant like a slurred drunk screaming at a hoedown and a mantra inspired by an incident in which Sonar witnessed some Hare Krishnas performing. “It’s like going to a disco and then going to church,” Sonar said.

The fifth track, “What Is Is” features a storyline amidst the distorted mechanical voice, techno beat, unexpected heavy metal interlude and ‘70s-style keyboards that bombard listeners. "It's just about an experience with an ex-girlfriend,” Sonar said circumspectly.

It is also the first of several tracks to have an accompanying video, which can be downloaded by daring souls from www.youtube.com/cmirecords. Sonar would also like to shoot videos for “To Ya,” a brief tune with a minimalist, punkish feel and “Driving Ms. Pac-Man,” a plodding, disturbing number featuring simple but effective guitar and keyboard work.

The record is interspersed with mysterious lyrics that seem to have a deeper meaning that isn’t immediately clear. The drastic musical shifts between heavy metal, Indian, techno and other styles on the first track, “Pony Boy,” are accentuated by such strange phrases as, “because all the prophets were high on glue.” Yet there is no mistaking the message behind “Uncle,” a savage denunciation of capitalism as “a pig that keeps getting fatter as you feed it” and America’s commercial culture, with its pressure to buy “perfect, better, bigger, faster” material goods.

The sixth track, “Pig Scripture,” sounds a little like the mayhem that might result if Megadeth jammed with rock legends Duane Eddy and Neil Young simultaneously. It also features heartbeat-like drums, strange pitch bends and other odd effects. Its intermittent southern feel turns into an outright country jamboree, complete with a saxophone, in “Rusty Knife.” The next song, “Karmatic,” features another change in vocal style, more unexpected techno tones and tempo changes. The Duane Eddy feel returns in “Slew,” which conjures up images of a demented techno band performing at a Mexican standoff. In contrast, “Karmatic (Slight Return)” mixes styles that are more Indian and percussive in flavor.

The 14 songs on the album have a certain unity that is only apparent towards the end, after the listener has become accustomed to the jarring changes of style in mid-song, techno beats, mysterious tones, hard rock breaks and other oddities. Yet just when fans get used to the pace of the record, the final track, “Precarious,” seizes their attention again simply by being abnormally normal. The heavy reverb on the piano and vocals gives this slow song an almost ghostly feel that meshes well with the simple but effective acoustic guitar, but the usual dissonant, abrupt changes of style are absent. Then the album fades out like a melancholy lullaby.

“I figured I'd try to leave on a calm note,” Sonar said with a laugh.

The new CD is tentatively titled, "39 Minutes and 30 Seconds Closer,” for reasons that Sonar will leave up to his fans to interpret. "It's more of a reference to being 39 minutes and 30 seconds closer to something, I don't what; love or death or money or musical bliss, I'll let people decide for themselves.”

The first seven records he made after SLurblown’s debut in 1993 had numbers rather than titles and the eighth, ironically titled Valium Ate, was released in 2001 and is also available for purchase at the SLurblown website, www.slurblown.com. The new CD will be distributed internationally and will be available on the CMI website www.cashmattock.com.

The art on the act's website mirrors the eclectic and sometimes comical style of its creator. The same off-beat humor colors Sonar's sales pitch. “If you want to trade a car battery, or something of greater or equal value” he is willing to deal for one of the upcoming CDs or any other SLurblown product, including the limited edition SLurblown stickers that have been popular with his fans in the past.

SLurblown plans to move further away from the one-man band concept by putting together a group of musicians for a limited tour in support of the CD, including the release party and dates at other venues in the Rochester and Austin, Texas areas where SLurblown has been well-received in the past.

“I can do it all at once on stage, but I'd rather have other people,” Sonar said.

Audience reactions to SLurblown shows are quite varied depending on the genres the regular crowds are used to, according to Sonar, who sometimes incorporates stunts like playing a keyboard and a guitar at the same time or passing out song lyrics for sing-alongs. At one gig he was kicked offstage after one song. On the other hand, he received one of his warmest welcomes at a lesbian bar somewhere out in the vast expanse of rural Texas.

“I've seen people just stand there and watch without talking. It really kind of freaks me out,” Sonar said with a laugh, but added that he appreciates that sort of tribute.

“Some people have been enlightened after they've heard it. Your plants will grow better.”

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