Norwegian pop punks, Sløtface had to pull their 2020 European tour because of Covid 19, but they were busy re-working a selection of songs for this stripped back album, The Slumber Tapes.
A couple of months after the release of their last album, Sorry for the Late Reply, Sløtface were due to play an extensive series of dates in Europe, but then Covid 19 hit and the band had to make a hasty decision to pull nearly all of the dates. Travel in and out of Norway was impractical.
Over the summer the band took stock and decided to rework and strip back extracts from their back catalogue. The result is a very different sound from the energetic, mosh inducing, pop punk (for want of a better phrase) that we were used to.
And, so a few days ago The Slumber Tapes was released. The name seems perfect to describe not only the feel and sound of the record, but also the atmosphere in which it was recorded.
We get a mix of tunes taken from 2017’s Try Not to Freak Out and 2020’s Sorry for the Late Reply. Plus, the unreleased Doctor and the headline grabbing cover of Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Murder on the Dancefloor.
The politics of the band are fully intact. Doctor was originally written for the TNTFO album but didn’t make the cut. It should have done. For anyone who’s ever thought they might be pregnant, who is out of action for days each month and has had (or has) raging hormones.
Highlight of this selection may well be Laughing at Funerals, a perfect movie song and full of emotional angst. The guitar takes centre stage and gets a bit like the band is channelling their inner Bon Iver.
In a way picking out a couple of tracks may not do this album justice. It’s 8 songs short and comes in at 29 minutes. But, having had conversations recently about albums v singles, this is a very much an album in it’s concept, an idea developed in lockdown and one delivered in a half hour slice.
Described by the band on Facebook as “a new vibe for weird times“, we couldn’t agree more.
They’re back gigging again, albeit only in Norway. All seated, distanced and restricted to 20 punters a show. Weird times indeed.
We’d love to see them again, as we did a couple of years ago in the sweaty pit of the basement at The Magnet, but for now, we’ll take this.
The Slumber Tapes was released on 9 October 2020 on Propeller Recordings. It’s available from all the usual places.
Lead image – credit – Sløtface Facebook page