taking a listen

by Ryan Snyder

reviews of the moment


Whatever happened to good Winston-Salem power-pop? The Camel City’sexports of simple, well-executed riffs usedto rival that of tobacco, but once hardcorebecame the prevailing musical pursuit in thelate ’80s, the hook-y rock that dominatedmost of the previous two decades quietlydeclined. The veteran rockers who compriseSlawterhaus 5 rediscovered that ethos forthe most part on their self-titled debut, astirring reminder of how winning melodiesand smirking resolve is the right alchemyto revive the genre. Slawterhaus 5 showsa band that’s equally adept at fl exing theirmuscles (“Frustrated” and “Waking Up theWorld”) or easing into a song’s subtleties (“That Way” and “GivingUp the Ghost”). The band employs the prototype for Southernjangle so expertly it almost feels like a collegiate rock experimentto the point that warts are a certainty, namely the singularly bad“Drive (All Night).” It’s offeredup judiciously enoughwith a meaty bass line andcrunchy guitar riff before itturns into a poor attempt atrecreating Supertramp’s “GiveA Little Bit,” with a sicklysaccharine line about lookingup at the sky and into kids’eyes. Like a good pop songshould, it sticks like peanutbutter, but harder to clean up.Nonetheless, the other eightsongs are solid as a rock.


Slawterhaus 5 will release their debut on Friday at the Garage with Stars Explode and 220 Short.

For a chance to have your band’s CD reviewed, mail it to:

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