I stupidly never got around to reviewing the last awesome Slasher Risk tape on Abandon Ship and I ain’t gonna make that mistake twice. This particular tape is a live recording from the Eye and Ear music festival earlier in the year. Slasher Risk’s set was recorded on one night and Nate Rulli (Abandon Ship's captain) went home and pulled an all-nighter, dubbing and prepping 95 copies for release the next day. Which is pretty intense, though not near as intense as the audio document itself.
To put it plainly, Shoe Mania fucking slays.
Not many groups can start their sets with something like four minutes of a drum machine and Martha Stewart (WTF?) and still be awesome but apparently Slasher Risk is among the chosen few. Once the duo gets rocking, they get rocking. Heavy dual guitar mangling with zero time to catch your breath. I like the crowd on this cause at various points they start cheering Andy and Sara like they’re at a soccer game or something. Each epic guitar god gesture is met with a “wooo! eeeahhh!” Slasher Risk has an interesting style of dual guitarism cause they don’t drone or get psychedelic; they're noisy but not in an abstract “noise guitarist” sense. They just want to fucking rock. Really, this is rock music but minus the obedience to convention. This is what people should think of when they think of rock music. Slasher Risk was probably sent from up on high, to save this generation from Guitar Hero and its mall-bred Led Zeppelin t-shirts.
Anyway, we are getting way the hell off-topic. Someone takes the drum kit and takes the set to the next level. Just in case you didn’t get the message with the two guitars, the guitar/drums combo pounds your eardrums to a pulp. This is a difficult tape to write about cause I just end up wanting to say “This part rules!” and “This other part rules too!” so I’ll just sum it by saying there so many parts of this tape that just rule! At any given moment in the second half of the first side they’re riding a serious crest of fuzz until a bit of a breakdown at the end with lots of screeching feedback.
The program continues onto Side B, and actually the side works really well as a self-contained track. Coming out of the breakdown, the duo spread a thick fog of fuzz and then frantically lay into their instruments. Somebody takes the drums again and gets rollicking resulting in the aural equivalent of a shot of adrenaline. It seems like this stuff has to be improvised but it’s hard to believe.
What stands out to me here is that Slasher Risk somehow can swagger through massive feedback attacks. It’s hard to describe exactly but they destroy with style. Things slow down some when a drum machine enters the fray before they gradually grind to a halt. I tried convincing Andy to tour the west coast, not sure there’s any plan yet but my fingers are crossed that I can feel these sonics in person. This tape will be filling the need for the time being.
Still in print, check it out! …And also a Happy Easter to all!