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Everyone Else *
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  • Brooklyn indie rockers Slothrust continue to settle into a niche carved by impulsive grunge with an experimental edge on the band's third full-length, Everyone Else. Purveyors of angst and nervy discomfort delivered in large part by the vivid imagery of bandleader Leah Wellbaum's lyrics, the rest of the band sets the rickety stage. Case in point: the under-two-minute opener "Surf Goth," which flirts with math rock and metal, is a potent instrumental. Alternating a spare slacker rock with a pulsing wall of guitars, "Like a Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone" introduces phrases like "My body feels like plastic" and "Melt me into a bottle" early and then often. "Mud" also excels at this type of piercing phrase, with lines like "eat the mud," "puncture the clouds," and "the dark is cheap." The slower but still unsettled lead single "Horseshow Crab" continues the struggle with fitting in ("I don't have anything in common with myself"). Everyone Else also offers songs like "Pigpen" and "Rotten Pumpkin" that are outright catchy, if never sugary. The latter lightens the mood with punky enthusiasm and guitar hooks that carry listeners hovering in the back to up near the stage. "The Last Time I Saw My Horse" is a jazzier entry with playful rhythms that don't kick into distortion until the close. Throughout, Wellbaum's sometimes frustrated but more often matter-of-fact delivery maintains a '90s "whatever" tone that's often at odds with the intense content. Rather than seeming inconsistent, this just adds to the album's sense of alienation, one that's most likely to engage those who tune in to the distinctive lyrics. ~ Marcy Donelson
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