Joe Leytrick (vocals/guitars), Dan Suriano (bass) and Ed Terrell (drums) are A Friendly Gesture. Their debut release Slug Stampede is one of those albums that is hard to sum up because the band does not have a sound.
They jump to different styles quite often and you aren't quite sure what to make of it once you’re done listening to it. One minute they can sound similar to Primus like on the beginning of “Day One,” next they sound like a punk band on “Show Them What They're Missing.” If I had to give this band a genre it would be progressive rock. There is no doubt the instrumental work is exceptional. They really know how to play. And there were some parts that really made me take notice.
They open with “Hollow Harmony” which starts with acoustic guitar and vocals. It has a serious vibe that leans towards mystical sounding. There was a tinge of an ’80s ballad on this song. I wasn’t expecting it but the song eventually rocks out pretty hard. Perfect choice for an opener.
The slap bass on “New Song” took me off guard. It's kind of funny. With slap bass you automatically expect something funky but the song doesn't feel like that. It’s a rock song through and through. The drumming on “Show Them What They're Missing “ is pretty sick. It reminded of NOFX punk style drumming. Fast, in the pocket and completely drives the song.
The title track is catchy but the thing I enjoyed the most about it was the technically demanding transition and creative instrumentation. I had more of my attention on that than the vocal melody The band close strong with slap happy “Colors” and the melodic “Shortcomings.”
I definitely preferred some songs on this album and I think the next logical step for the band would be the get a boost in the production department. With that Slug Stampede is a solid debut.
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