Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Slow Club – Complete Surrender

They’ve got Harry Potter in a video…

Katherine St Asaph: It Happened To Me: I nearly got hit by a car at 96th and Broadway listening to “Complete Surrender.” (To be fair, nearly being hit by a car on 96th and Broadway is so regular an occurrence they’ve literally stationed crossing guards.) The song made me do it (she said, in the ER) — it rewards immersion, as for what I gather is Slow Club’s sudden pop play, the details are refreshingly un-obvious. The drum intro lasts half a bar too long, heightening the anticipation. The verses are understated and gloomy in that ABBA-verse way, yet still accommodate percussion that trembles and melodies that luxuriate. There’s a naff not entirely on-key bridge that shouldn’t work but somehow thanks to melodrama does. The breathless chorus actually sounds breathless, bursting with strings and sighs and more strings and ever-higher notes while singing about hiding it all. I am perhaps too biased to review this, as my brain lately is little more than a device to replay that chorus. That do-re-mi-fa violin pattern is how I imagine life’s yearningest moments sound inside of it; the rest of life’s moments just exist until it sounds like that again.

Alfred Soto: Well, this is just fabulous. A jittery percussion loop and echoed vocals, you say? Ick. But Rebecca Watson’s hook won’t quit, and neither will the bongos. It’s as if the duo were already begging for their own Fleetwood Mac Balearic remix.

Anthony Easton: Rebecca Taylor’s drumming is precise and dedicated. I am a sucker for the slightly slurred, slightly off-note English vocals that Charles Watson displays. I do not like the squeak of Taylor’s voice. I do not like that they spend so much time here trying to work out something longer and more complex. I would have been happy with a 4/4 skiffle beat and his voice a shade more grunting.

Will Adams: The music is brilliant, stacking hooks like nobody’s business and swelling into an orchestral finish. The vocalists, on the other hand, spend a lot of time playing catch-up, one handing the mic over to the other as if to recuperate.

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Imagine this dog without bells’n’whistles and you maybe have a husky tribute to lost and failed loves; with them, it’s a Technicolour gamble, with indie singers turned into scorned sirens and multi-instrumentalists turned into lushly-dressed sets. This is drama for the sake of drama — a little emotional restraint for much of the song leaves it from reaching its probable peak — but it’s pretty terrific to hear unfold.

Megan Harrington: The only thing I remember about the movie Drive is walking out of the theatre magpie-style enchanted with the shininess of College’s “A Real Hero” lyrics. I wanted to thank retail clerks by saying “you’ve turned out to be a real human being, and a real hero!” “Complete Surrender” has a similar quality, but phrased in the style of summer blockbuster movies — Call Me Out: A True Pretender and What You Want: Complete Surrender. It gives the song a tiny thrill of danger while doubling down on memorability.

Reader average: [8] (2 votes)

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