Pittsburgh bands have been conquering the shoe-gaze, haze rock sound recently, and ensemble SLUGSS is another act to add to the list. The SLUGSS track “Spill,” off of their forthcoming album Live at Monster Mansion, is breezy and shiny, with a sound that conjures images of the sun and warmer days.
SLUGSS consists of Lukas Truckenbrod on lead vocals and guitar, Colin Bates on backing vocals and lead guitar, Benny Truckenbrod on drums and percussion, and Brenden Clemmens on bass. Together they create unique, buzzy tunes that will stick in your head for hours.
In a statement, the band says their latest album is named after the practice space and studio where it was recorded, dubbed the Monster Mansion.
“Spill” manages to be a compact song that has an expansive ear; parts of the song, the ending in particular, sound like soaring through outer space. The fun, light, catchy sound provides a departure from the lyrics, which speak to a generational crisis that will resonate with certain listeners:
“So listen when I speak over everyone/when the kids have lost their guns
Like when you stayed home sick in the seventh grade/now you're old and the stakes are raised
I'm witnessing a silent defeat/and with it a blanket retreat
Never really thought that i could win you over
I'm old enough now just a little bit wiser
come to me now i need affection and attention
I've been sentimental ever since this damn election.”
As the lyrics suggest, “Spill” was written during the 2016 election cycle, as confirmed by the band. According to Truckenbrod, "Spill' was written in the "early years of the previous presidential administration" and was an attempt to "capture some of the anxiety and paradigmatic shifts that occurred when the unthinkable happened, contrasting the realities of daily life with the barrage of the modern-day 24-hour news cycle, which paints a sometimes starker and darker reality."
“Instrumentally, we channeled some jangly '80s influences via R.E.M. and Dire Straits with the clean and chiming guitar parts to play up the duality between the escapist lyrics and light-feeling arrangement," says Truckenbrod.
“Spill” is available for streaming on all platforms now. Live at Monster Mansion drops Fri., Oct. 1.