This band are coming on in spades.
On album number three, Melbourne’s Slowly Slowly trade in sadness for hope, carving their most commercial, but most realised body of work to date.
Race Car Blues is chock full of high octane, stadium-ready bangers and unsurprisingly, not a lot of blues. Instead, these tracks propel you right back to 2006 when So Fresh CDs were constantly littered with chart-topping pop punk anthems. Frontman Ben Stewart seems to be aware of this though, so the album appears more as a love letter to the genre than a pale imitation. Every single lyric is carefully considered, and he matches big singalong choruses with countless heartfelt anecdotes.
Well-known singles ‘Safety Switch’ and ‘Jellyfish’ slot in perfectly with their new tunes, but it’s clear tracks like ‘Soil’ and ‘19’ are such standouts they could have been singles in their own right.
The midpoint of the record takes a turn towards soft rock of the ‘90s territory, proving the band are more than a one trick pony. ‘Suicidal Evangelist’ even brings to mind Silverchair at their most vulnerable, sound-tracking the prom scene from a late ‘90s teen movie.
Slowly Slowly don’t really do anything particularly new or revolutionary on this album, but it doesn’t matter because they’re having a damn good emo throwback party in the process. Let’s hope they bring this sound back into the mainstream for the 2020s.