Transparency is always an appreciated quality in music. Being explicitly open and direct through your music helps the listener grasp what you’re attempting to convey. There is no need to sugarcoat things, and Slow Buildings seem to make this the belief statement of their new release.
The best part of this album has to be how precise the musical ideas are. In other words, what you hear is what you get. The guitar part best exemplifies this; the composition is developed and comes in clear. The lead vocal is consistent and unwavering. Of course, the kind of lyrics perfect to accompany such straightforward composition would be frank and honest and that is showcased well in the lyrics heard throughout the record. They even say it themselves: “Coded words are rarely true.” But with all I’ve said about being transparent and honest, that does not mean that there is no room for creativity. I find that the percussion and piano parts serve as the accents and embellishments to the entire album.
There is one track where the piano becomes the developed instrument at the forefront: “Another December Morning.” This song is the most different from the others on the tracklist not only for its feature of the piano, but for the influences heard throughout the track, which include musical ideas familiar to us to be from other parts of the world. The guitar is best displayed on “The Shape Of Nothing”; be sure to listen for the guitar solo in the latter half of the song. “Garbage In, Garbage Out” best exemplifies just how blunt Slow Buildings can be. The lyrics translate into the outspoken account of a harsh reality of life in suburbia.
My biggest surprise was how well you can hear the New Jersey influence in certain songs. Our state has shared plenty to musical history, and you can hear that influence throughout A Fresh Slice. If they stick to their approach, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make their mark as the next great band from Jersey.