In addition to being a guitar shredder, songwriter, and captivating bandleader, once a month Slothrust’s Leah Wellbaum writes about Astrology for TALKHOUSE. For March it was Pisces Season and she writes “It is a moment to feel the feels completely and to move through them, transmuting them into something else”.
On March 18 when the first leg of the band’s headliner tour for latest album “Parallel Timeline” paid a visit to Highland Park’s The Lodge Room a jam-packed crowd of people were feeling the feels completely. Wellbaum and band (Longtime drummer Will Gorin and newish bassist Brooks Allison) blazed through an unpredictable and exhilarating set of ups and downs with moments of quiet introspection interrupted by blazing aggression and back in the blink of an eye. The songs from the latest release featured heavily with big crowd singalongs even for early highlights “Cranium” and “The Next Curse”. The depth of lyrics and intensity and clarity of Wellbaum’s voice are stronger than ever on the newer songs and the prog-punk instrumental interludes are still like a roller coaster for the ears. Like a really good roller coaster. X2. Or Twisted Colossus. The unpredictability continued as the set went on with a moment of Britney (“Baby One More Time”) and a stripped-down version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. If the crowd was 100% fired up for the new material, which they were, they were 110% fired up for some of the classics. Huge response for “Magnets Pt. 2” from 2013’s “Of Course You Do” and, our favourite, 2018’s “Planetarium”, another jagged start-stop breath-taker.
Coinciding with this tour Slothrust released “Parallel Timeline (Origins)”, on Dangerbird Records, a deluxe version of the album including demo versions of many of the songs and commentary from Wellbaum and Gorin. The demo songs are a little more electronic sounding and the commentary sheds some fascinating light on the process of demoing and producing the album.
Opening for Slothrust at The Lodge Room were Manchester-based three-piece Calva Louise. They had an unpredictability all their own with a touch of Grunge here, some Punk there, a bit of Latin Rock, and blistering solos by singer/guitarist/lightning-bolt/Venezuelan Jess Allanic. We’re definitely keeping watch on their tour-dates for a return to LA.
The Slothrust/Calva Louise tour picks up again April 7 in Baltimore for an East Coast/Midwest string of dates ending up in Denver April 30th. Tell your people not to miss it!
Words and photos by Tim Aarons