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Music Review // Sleepy Gonzales “Slow Apocalypse” | Raised By Cassettes
The music of Sleepy Gonzales is some sort of -gaze. While it can be described as dreampop at times, other times there are these little extra pieces added to it which make it something else. Right away, “Slow Apocalypse” comes out swinging with “Alligatorzzz” which is somewhat upbeat and just an overall fun song. From there, though, the amount of fun you will have with this album will vary, depending upon your definition of fun. The songs seem to grower sadder with each one and with each listen.
Then I consider the title of this album- “Slow Apocalypse“. What does that mean? Well, if you’ve ever thought about the end of the world, you probably imagined it as happening rather quickly. I believe that deep down inside all of us we want to see the world end within our lifetime because we have this strong instinct to not want to feel left out. But what if the end times didn’t come overnight and as quickly as you thought? What if it was drawn out over the course of a year where every week felt like an eternity? I’m beginning to think that is possible and this album by Sleepy Gonzales just makes me feel validated.
While the titular track can be fuzzy and loud, singing “Stay on top of this / Slow apocalypse”, the next song- “Motorbike”- is a slower, more sort of acoustic song. To some extent, I think that this is catchy to where you will eventually be singing along with it, but then again it’s not immediately catchy as I’ve listened to it at least ten times (I lost count) before I was able to know when little breakdowns were coming with lines like:
“we might be running for nothing
but maybe nothing’s enough for me“
From Mazzy Star to that dog to even some Soul Asylum, this has those grunge era vibes within the -gaze and sad dreams. On some level, I guess you could call it slowcore, but I just feel like no matter how many words I spit out to use as tags on Bandcamp, they just don’t properly do the sound justice because it will always sound like that one or two word genre plus something else added in. Even the song “aliens exist” has this great drumming to it and overall it just reminds me of Blue October and Flora Cash (which might also be due to how much I’ve been listening to Flora Cash lately)
Though there is a song called “Underwatr Lvl” which makes me think it’s being recorded underwater- sort of like the one episode of Bojack Horseman- I also felt that way at times about “aliens exist”. Between those songs we get “The Legend of Jonny B (Pt. I-III) which is an eight minute epic journey and then the lighter (no pun intended) song “Featherweights”. But then these last two songs hit pretty hard and as I typed out back in the beginning of this all, these songs just seem to get sadder as they go on.
“Sally On the Avenue” is my favorite song on here lyrically and the way it slowly delivers sweet guitar solos makes me wonder if I really am dying (and not in that way that we’re all dying)
“your body’s gonna fall to pieces
like the vein you dream of taking a razor to
bleeding on the sheet”
Those are some pretty powerful lyrics which really hit home. Paired up with “you never show me emotion / it’s crazy when you do” there is this constant reminder of “it’s only gonna happen once”, which should be your mantra for not only this year but years to come. And that last verse just hits me in a way no other lyrics ever have but I’m not going to type it all up here.
“Slow Apocalypse” ends with a song called “The King of Rat Kastle” which is rather acoustic and just has an apocalyptic way about it. While you can hear a thunderstorm type of sound within the song it just feels like everything around you is falling apart- the true end of the world type of sound.
Back when the pandemic started in 2020, I vowed to not give any attention to any artist trying to make music off of the fact that people were suffering and, well, dying. I received songs to listen to with titles like “Love in the Times of COVID-19” and I just blocked those senders. I felt like it was such a cheap ploy for attention, such a shitty way to try and gain some short lived fame. But I still listened to music created in 2020 because there are still honest musicians out there making songs not so specific. I’ve had a lot of time in 2020 to listen to a lot of music and I think it’s fair to say that “Slow Apocalypse” is the best album of the year not just in an awards way but also in the way in which it captures the raw emotion of the events which seemingly lasted forever and seemingly spelled out our end.