Slothrust, Blue Shell Cologne, 30.01.2019

Music connects across borders, because it goes back to exactly the one thing that really unites all people: emotions and emotions , Every music fan will remember songs that evoke a variety of emotions and fit into a variety of life situations. Concerts reinforce this special connection once again, as one is confronted face to face with the beings behind the favorite songs. So, if you sense how they are taken or inspired by their own words and sounds, the experience can be breathtaking. An important reason why concerts never lose their intensity. Then you watch Slothrust as they play through the half of their set silently and icy cold, and then in a few songs to retrieve the most diverse emotions – and you can start again with this story of emotions and artists.

Before the main band enters the small stage on snowy Wednesday night (to get drums, you have to squeeze between the pelvis and the pits), Active Bird Community from Brooklyn are allowed to play the sold-out Blue Shell. Luckily, the Support Act selection is a great success, because Active Bird Community sound like the two-voiced brother of Slothrust. Similar to the main band, support also relies on an interplay of fragile, atmospheric moments and garage rock monsters – especially convincing thanks to the outstanding live performance of two singers.

You know that when some bands take the stage already enter energetically and inevitably radiate so much energy that the audience wants to hitch and jump as if infected? Well, Slothrust do pretty much the opposite. Without expression, the three Americans play through the first songs of their set, which is reinforced by the already very lamenting, serene singing style of Leah Wellbaum. Musically, the trio fluctuates similarly to the plates between shoegaze moments and brute garage sound. Although this bangs from the beginning, but somehow lose band and audience something out of sight. But then – Wellbaum asks for beer, smiles as a sound engineer the band just entered the stage with a few bottles at that moment. The joy of the band is great and suddenly a switch seems to have broken down. For “The Haunting” and “Walk Away” guitar is exchanged for keyboard, singer Wellbaum suddenly stands without her protection from the string instrument in front of the audience and indulges in incredibly grotesque and witty dancing to a very moving text. “Double Down” also gives live a groove, which stimulates by the impressive instrumental support by Kyle Bann and Will Gorin quickly to dance. Already the whole set can be heard occasionally interjections “Planetarium, damn!” And finally this board will also be presented by Garage-Rock-Song. Also between the songs the band becomes more open-minded, little jokes are recited, the smile gets bigger and bigger, as the band realizes that they were able to report directly sold out on the first Cologne headline show. Only now that the initial tension is gone, you notice what makes this band really great. Hits churning, quiet passages that get under your skin, loud passages that make the Blue Shell shake. And then these texts! So wonderfully unadapted, hilarious and yet dead serious sounds no other band. A stanza from the terrific grunge bouncer “Crockpot” goes like this: “Animals in my bed, animals in my bed, animals in the street. I like cats, do you like cats? Of course you do, you sassy motherfucker. My stomach hurts, does your stomach hurt? Do our stomachs hurt together? I feel pain, do you feel pain? Will this pain last forever? “In general, thoughts of isolation, depression and suicide are often the linchpins of the very abstract texts. Even if one would rather tap Nonsens á la Alt-J at first listening. But Slothrust seems to be just right, as little as they peddle their own feelings. When it gets too much, Wellbaum simply closes his eyes while singing. The voice remains firm, the guitar walls protect the three.

So it is not surprising that the enthusiasm storms after the performance but still very frenetic. The band shines, the audience just like that. Maybe some emotions are just too moving and challenging for everyone involved to just let them in on themselves. At the end of the evening you get the feeling as if you were going through a joint therapy session. And that’s what makes it so much more intimate because of the bumpy start!

And that sounds like this:

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Post photo of Julia Köhler.

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