Slow Season

Press “play” on Slow Season’s second full-length album MOUNTAINS, and you might just forget what era you’re in. It could very well be the sixties, seventies, or now. It almost doesn’t matter though because this is hypnotic, heavy, and howling rock ‘n’ roll that defies both musical and temporal categorization.  The Central California quintet—Daniel Rice [vocals, guitar], David Kent [guitar], Hayden Doyel [bass], and Cody Tarbell [drums]—scale new heights, while recognizing where it all began.

 

“I’d love for people to wonder if this record is actually from 1969,” grins Cody. “We wanted to capture that spirit. That was the goal.”

 

In order to do so, the musicians holed up in Cody’s home studio, which actually doubles as his parents’ garage, and cut the ten tracks on MOUNTAINS throughout the course of early 2014. Hayden had just returned home from a short detour at college in Idaho before recognizing he belonged jamming with his brothers. Officially back in the fold, excitement to record proved pervasive. Moving when inspiration struck, they actually recorded the songs live on reel-to-reel tape. Eschewing the digital mindset of today and not even uttering the words “Pro Tools”, everything was caught on analog, giving the music a crackling kinetic energy.

 

“I like everything associated with reel-to-reel,” Cody goes on. “I love the sound. I like the mojo that comes along with it.”

 

“Working with the limitations of tape really pushed us to play our best,” adds Daniel. “You have to prioritize your ideas. You can’t layer too much on there. You also have to nail the takes. You don’t get to go back and cut paste. You have to feel it when you’re playing it. When everything comes together, it really shines because we’re all playing together on tape.”

 

They lock in during the album opener and first single, “Sixty-Eight”. It snaps into a bluesy riff and bombastic beat before Daniel lets out a soaring refrain and a screeching solo roars. “We wanted to nod back to Led Zeppelin,” the vocalist says. “We managed to get this really big sound in the garage. It’s very organic and natural. The subject matter is pretty gnarly, and I’d encourage everyone to take a close listen to the lyrics.”

 

That mystique carries over to the hazy “Synanon”, which details the exploits of a mountain cult nearby where the boys reside. Meanwhile, “Endless Mountain” drives forward on robust guitars and propulsive drums. It also reflects the overarching theme inherent within the title.

 

MOUNTAINS embody a few things,” explains Daniel. “They’re difficult, seemingly insurmountable, and bigger than us. They’re both foreboding and beautiful at the same time.  I had been doing a lot of hiking and backpacking in the higher Sierra Nevada. It all fit together. We live right next to Sequoia National Park, and we go up there all the time. We connect with the idea of man versus nature.”

 

Slow Season first emerged in 2012 with their self-titled debut. Supported by shows throughout California and nationally, they began to garner palpable buzz. Now, MOUNTAINS kicks off their next chapter. However, they’ll continue to exist within an epoch of their own.
Daniel leaves off, “I want to people to walk away knowing there’s integrity behind the music, the process, the words being sung, and the notes being played. We love what we do, and we hope that listeners do too.”

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Slow Season – Westing

Now Shipping the CLEAR variant EARLY, If you order Black, you’ll still have to wait until we have them!

Slow Season “Westing”

Black – $15

 Clear (limited to 300)- $20

 Black Vinyl/CD – $20

SlowSeason2016-Ryan-Lopez

Slow Season hits the road yet again in May – June leading up to the album release. Please see current dates below. 

Contrary to the band’s name, downtime is a rarity for Slow Season. Sandwiched between summer 2015’s extensive tour with their RidingEasy labelmates Mondo Drag and Electric Citizen, plus several short west coast jaunts, the hard-working quartet also found time to hammer out its most powerful and ambitious album yet. Written, engineered, produced and mixed themselves on their own equipment, entirely on analog tape, Westing is a hard-hitting and powerful reminder of how at one time a rock ‘n’ roll band could be a transcendent experience.

While Slow Season’s sound continues to effortlessly nod to the great bands of the 60s-70s, Westing is truly the sound of a band coming into their own. The songwriting is tight, howling and hypnotic. The sound is classic, yet refreshingly new. 

“It’s a different album,” says drummer and primary recording engineer Cody Tarbell. “But we never have wanted to find a particular sound or any one thing and be attached to it permanently. A big part of our records is experimenting.” The Visalia, CA band — Daniel Rice (vocals, guitar), David Kent (guitar), Hayden Doyel (bass), and Cody Tarbell (drums) —  has recorded all of their albums on reel-to-reel at Tarbell’s home studio in a cornfield. This affords them the time to experiment getting sounds, while maintaining focus on the most important notion that performance is key. As with previous albums, recording was pretty immediate, tracked between January 15th and the beginning of February 2016 to 16-track tape and mixed to 2-track tape. 

Equally as ambitious as the band’s self-sufficient production is the sprawling lyrical theme to the album.  Thematically picking up where the Slow Season’s previous full length Mountains left off, Westing tackles some heady issues.

Westing follows a loose narrative about our nation’s loss of innocence as it explores its frontiers,” vocalist Daniel Rice explains. “Re-contextualized in a story about an unnamed protagonist faced with choosing between different ideological allegiances and his own social identity.” From song to song, the album follows what Rice explains as, “the unholy trinity of greed+power+violence, the injustice wrought from this, persisting in willful ignorance, and reaping what is sown.” A deep conceptual arc, for sure, and one that adds further weight to the Slow Season’s intensity. 

Album opener “Y’Wanna” erupts from the speakers as if the band couldn’t even wait for the tape to start recording. it’s a full-throttle rocker reminiscent of Zep’s “Immigrant Song” with sly reference to “Four Sticks”, all groove and pummel. “Flag” keeps things rolling along with its bouncing, stop-n-go guitar riff. The 6/8-time blues sway of “The Jackal” echoes early Sabbath malefic boogie, while “Saurekonig” is a cavernous and volcanic mass driven by huge drums, ringing slide guitar and ominous drone. “Damascus” is a rollicking anthem driven by Tarbell’s syncopated hi-hat/snare interplay and Rice’s explosive wail proving just how much of a dynamic powerhouse Slow Season has become. Throughout, Westing is a smart and snarling rocker that sounds like rock ‘n’ roll records should: massive, infectious and inviting repeat listens.