Slim Wray, a ripe, raw and powerful rock n’ roll duo from Brooklyn, New York display their unique blend of an organic yet old-school feel mixed with the staple of the music of the younger generation – an alternative rock sound that can be found on their debut album, Sack Lunch. Yet punk-inspired riffs, distorted rock vocals, blues-ridden, classic rock, or beachy melodies, and instrumentals as tight as those in heavy metal give this small group a big personality. They tie in inspiration from what seem to be eras and genres of music and influence that could not be more different. While their music contains the melodic simplicity of a good pop/rock song, it has much more depth and complexity than that. Incredibly catchy and mesmerizing, yet carefree and passionately put together with numerous natural, unfabricated qualities, the group has an air of something different, refreshing, and certainly worth listening to. With the duo only in it’s formative years, they will undoubtedly grow into something to not only notice, but also to remember.
Sack Lunch starts out tricking a person into believing they have just put in a heavy metal record when they soon realize the sudden Black-Keys-like distorted guitar riffs with matching vocals in the opening track, “I Gotta Girl (with a list of needs.)” “Reaction” has a completely different feel, a piece placed together with remnants of ’80s influence and fabulous harmonies. “Bear” embraces characteristics of classic, badass rock n’ roll, from driving, powerful instrumentals and a clean guitar solo to gang vocal harmonies. “House of D” is an acoustic, upbeat track written for listening with a beer in hand and for the purposes of a good laugh, as the chorus sings, “When you spend a second night in a cell, you know it’s for real.” “Long Long Way” is a catchy tune with a California-rock vibe mixed with the Nashville hipster/house-show music scene. Female harmonies make this song stand out amongst the others. The sixth song, “Gloria,” is sung like a familiar blues story, but with an expectant Slim Wray twist.
“Strychnine” takes one back to the Pixies and scenes like those of underground punk rock, with guitars wailing as if they were truly screaming alongside the vocalists. “Cutout” uses sharp and syncopated rhythms that drive the song while the vocals give it that necessary overlay of undeniably contagious power and free-spirited rock n’ roll. “Sunshine,” the ninth song on the record, is a blend of Oasis-influenced songwriting and Alice In Chains-inspired harmony and bellowing main vocals. “Mr. Hunter” is a groovy and heavy track, with empowering ’80s choral harmonies and an edgy guitar solo that rips through the bridge of the track. The bass carries this track rhythmically and, at times, melodically, throughout the song, and the piece ends with a classic rock jam outro. “Abilene” is a song that has the ability to stay in one’s head for an unhealthy length of time, with lyrics like “I shake and I shout / To get those demons out / Oh, I know I will see you again.” The album ends with “Take a Number,” an angsty track and one final punch and blow for the album’s closing.
Slim Wray are certainly a unique mix of renowned favorites made their own, claiming their unique sound and putting together something original on the oftentimes very mundane current music scene. Emotional, energetic, and stimulating due to its uniqueness, this group has, in its infancy, already proven what talent two men can have, and what they are able say and accomplish when they follow where their passion lies.
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Long Long Way
The Big Hit
– Long Long Way
Review by Jill Jacobs