Slowride - As I Survive The Suicide Bomber (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


As I Survive The Suicide Bomber (2002)

Deep Elm

I know what you're thinking: it's a Foghat cover band! I was fooled, too. But after my initial depression and subsequent listenings of this album, I realized that this band is the second coming of Jawbreaker.

Oops, sorry. I didn't mean for you to knock your Mountain Dew onto your keyboard in shock when you read that. I'll wait while you clean it up.

All good? Okay. So there's this band, Slowride, right? They're a pop-punk trio from Dallas, TX. But there's oh-so-much more than meets the eye. This is a CD that deserves your full listening attention, otherwise you'll miss it. Imagine Jawbreaker, circa mid-90s, got a Radiohead-like burst of creativity and recorded 2 albums' worth of material. One, obviously, was "Dear You." So what happened to the other material? This would be it. Slowride summons the punk rock mantra of Blake Schwarzenbach, taking the smoke-3-packs-a-day style vocals made popular by him and throwing in some of the most elaborate 3-chord punk rock you've heard in a long time.

"I'm Everything Without You," "Rockets And Jets," "Montana," "Winter" - what do they have in common? All are power chord extravaganzas. This is the kind of angsty pop-punk you relish because you get a total body workout as you jump from playing air guitar to air drums during these songs. The band isn't immune to slower tempos, though, as most well shown in tracks like "Four Eyes," "Self Improvement: Lesson One," and "Money." In "Money" in particular, the band starts off with a pretty slow tempo to begin with then switch into the patented Jawbreaker half-time feel for the interlude before it gets kicked back up a notch to rock the rest of the song out. This is one of my favorite tracks on the CD, by far. There's even an inexplicably enjoyable hidden track involving a lot of beatboxing. While Jawbreaker never had that on one of their albums, it still works.

I know it sounds like I'm unabashedly praising them, but the band isn't perfect. The only thing is, there aren't any major fouls committed on this album that are worth mentioning. Slowride has put out a really solid punk album that deserves some recognition. If you're looking for a band to fill your Jawbreaker void, give these guys a chance.