Led by guitarist/singer/songwriter Leah Wellbaum, Brooklyns Slothrust is a rock band of musicians from the jazz/blues tradition who sound nothing like jazz musicians playing rock. Beneath the know-how their aesthetic is punk-as-fuck. How perfect, right? You get the zap without the Zappa, not a lot of Yes but a load of Oh Hell Yeah! Slothrusts musicianship sneaks up on you, because the first thing that grabs you is how insanely catchy these songs are. Then you realize that it all comes down to the fact that they play fearlessly and full of tenacity. Rock 'n Roll.
Formed amidst the ashes of Leahs solo project, entitled Slothbox ("The box rusted," she explainsobvs!) Slothrust was forged with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. With the added dynamics of a tight, powerful and funky rhythm section, Slothrust is a forceful trio as unsettling and capricious as their name. We now have Of Course You Do, the bands label debut and follow-up to their 2012 self-released full-length, Feels Your Pain.
With her deep, charismatic vocals, most reminiscent of Nico with the edge of Isaac Brock circa '97, Wellbaum sings about alienation, awkwardness and absurdity, and damn if she doesnt make it all sound kind of fun. "Crockpot" is a dark, yet funny and irreverent take on the struggle for human connection in a society built to make us feel isolated: "Some men purchase real dolls / to fill the void / But she dont finish dinner and her expression never changes / Dont shake hands with the lonely kids cause I hear that shits contagious". "Juice" is a paean to realizing the limits of self-improvement: "My name is Leah and I drink juice every morning when I wake up but its no use, Im unwell". She evokes feeling while sounding despondent, all the while with catchy melodies pulling off Stephen Malkmus Pavement-era feats of writing and delivery. On top of the solid writing and rhythm section, her playing style ranges from simple eloquence to hard-edged, aggressive guitar solos.