Chicago – formerly Wisconsin – outfit Slow Pulp caught our attention back in 2020, sharing debut album ‘Moveys’ in the opening weeks and months of the pandemic. Follow-up ‘Yard’ has been anticipated for some time, with their softly lit take on lo-fi grunge influences standing out from the pack. Is it just us, or are there not enough groups mining that 90s era sound? Perhaps we’re not looking hard enough.
Second track ‘Doubt’ is an immediate standout, with comparing to those golden Cardigans singles, with Emily Masey’s striking vocals tapping into their innate pop appeal. ‘Slugs’ meanwhile is more visceral, Henry Stoehr’s driving guitar riffs coming to the fore, the slow drumming reminiscent of Portishead.
Quietly influential, Slow Pulp are an astute blend of influences, taking these sounds into a new arena. Fans of Yuck or the Lemonheads will get a kick out of ‘Yard’ – maybe it’s wrong to make so many direct comparisons, but that’s precisely because the album sounds so fresh.
Lead single ‘Slugs’ might already be familiar to you, but there’s a lot to explore here. ‘Worms’ and ‘Doubt’ are easily some of the best songs Slow Pulp have completed yet, and it’s fascinating to hear the band lean on their heavier impulses.
A solid return, there’s a lot to recommend here – for those familiar with Slow Pulp’s influences, or otherwise. Engaging songwriting with a real punch, we’re already looking forward to catching them live.
Words: Jack Wilkie