New release from S.L.I.P. is a ‘dark, depressing good time’ | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

New release from S.L.I.P. is a ‘dark, depressing good time’

It’s fast, pissed off and unpolished with a deeply cynical outlook — and way more fun than it should be

Slippy When Wet, the new album from S.L.I.P., sounds like a dark, depressing good time. The songs are high-energy, but the subjects are gloomy: hopelessness and insomnia, opioid addiction and pollution, vapid music scenes, armchair liberals and gentrification. There are only five songs out of 12 available now, but they cover a lot of ground and serve as a good intro to S.L.I.P.’s personal, relentless, powerful work.

“Boys in Blue” and “There’s No Hope for The U.S.A.” deliver concise, bald-faced political criticism, but they’re balanced by a track like “Fast Living,” about street racing in the South Hills (if the album title didn’t tip you off, Pittsburgh references figure heavily in S.L.I.P.). If you squint your ears, you’d think the whole album was about lighthearted stuff like souped-up cars and street racing.

“It’s a fun record, musically,” says vocalist Dave Rosenstraus. “But the topics are kind of dark.”

S.L.I.P. started in 2014 as a solo project of Rosenstraus, who previously played in bands like Pissed Jeans and Hounds of Hate (among many, many others). In addition to his work in S.L.I.P., Rosenstraus records bands at his home (the Braddock Hit Factory), serves as the treasurer for the Braddock Economic Development Corporation, and operates Fossil Free Fuel, which reclaims used vegetable oil for fuel.

His first effort as S.L.I.P., 2014’s Songs of Love Ideals and Peace, plays like an exercise in economic songwriting (most tap out at around 90 seconds), and while it’s not a far jump from Slippy, there’s a noticeable fullness to the new songs. You can probably chalk that up to filling out the lineup (now a five-piece with two guitars, drums and bass) and some changes in how the drums were recorded, but the songs just feel more complete in general.

Black Flag is a good starting reference point for S.L.I.P.’s sound, but there are some strains of Minor Threat and Bad Brains in there, too. It’s fast, pissed off and unpolished, with a deeply cynical outlook — and way more fun than it should be.

S.L.I.P.’s record-release show for Slippy When Wet is at Gooski’s, on Sunday, with Bulsch and the Roobydocks, presented by Cruel Noise Records. 9 p.m. Sun., Nov. 27. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $6

Editor’s Note: For full disclosure, Rosenstraus is in a relationship with CP music editor Margaret Welsh. She was not involved in the assigning, writing or editing of this story.

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