Persona EP

Slowline use their biography to big themselves up a bit in preparation for you being introduced to their music, but their charming claims come across with an unassuming naivety that belies their confident declarations.

Musically, it’s a similar story with some tidy indie-rock songs that never get too emotional, loud or complicated.

‘Persona’ is a gentle retro song with a decent bass guitar intro which also services the verse with the running riff. Things head down a quirky-American-indie path with Pixies style backing vocals and loose sounding mix. The chorus does most of the work with a bit of help from the ‘yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah’ section, which requires a pause for air from the backing singer after about nine or ten of the ‘yeah’s’ as he’s turned a funny shade of blue.

The chilled vocal in ‘Switch On/Switch Off’ adds tons of appeal to the song, saving it from potential obscurity by supplying the killer hook with a masterful lazy melody in the chorus. This is the best song on the record with a playful guitar, spacious use of bass and that great vocal.

The opening guitars for ‘Thursday’ sound a bit over-simplistic and the vocal suddenly becomes far too lazy – having mastered the laid back style in the previous song it’s now a case of Morrisey with a cold and there just isn’t the musical brilliance to cover a dodgy vocal in this song. There is a brief moment two thirds through where things build up towards a big something-that-never-happens and then the song heads towards it’s ending with far too many samey drum fills and washy guitars.

‘One is Seven’ has a slightly goth-pop feel with elements of Siouxie Sioux and The Cure in the crunchy mix and these references are reinforced with appropriate drumming and guitar sounds. The overall effect is a bit like ‘A Forest’ as played by Toyah Wilcox.

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Written by Smith on

Stuart 'Saur' Smith was a prolific writer for The Mag throughout the magazine's lifetime. He combined a day job of temporary office jobs in London with a nightlife of trawling the capital's music venues looking for talent. As well as writing about music, he was a session musician who featured on a number of singles in the 90s. Today, Stuart is a Chief Writer for Phonotonal.
Stuart Smith

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