Solo artist Slow Walk breaks through traditional album construction by giving us An Idiot’s Guide! This self-described musical project is an intentionally raw self recorded fifteen minute project. Slow Walk started off doing unpredictable performances that ended with head banging microphones and bleeding all over his guitar. He has since redirected his performative energy into creating a cohesive musical story rather than a disparate album collection. Lorenzo Franchi revels in spontaneity, claiming to bust out this colossal track with just a few vocal takes.
An Idiot’s Guide starts off with an alien synth intro that tapers off into a consistent beat as the guitar climbs and falls, coaxing the vocals to start. Slow Walk starts off with airy acoustic vocals that shortly transition into a folk goth tone. With the beats stripped down around 2:00 the lyrics really come through with “everybody wants to tell you / how to do your own thing.” Slow Walk’s atypical long single track album style purposefully resists mainstream song demarcations.
At 3:17, he introduces a driving electro synth beat, that when performed live, must push the audience to its feet to start dancing. His voice looped and slightly slowed down in this section, giving it a deeper and creepy edge. Resistance is a theme throughout An Idiot’s Guide declaring over and over “speak in silence/ talk in violence / watch the city burn.” The doomy chant has realistic repercussions as it transitions into a pared down acoustic folk section that admits “now all is gone / forgotten.” Driven by dramatic musical transitions, the story narrated by the lyrics evolves into a journey that endlessly questions if there’s any good left in society. Slow Walk sets up the human / monkey parallel as an answer: “But while computers are evolving / I think we might be going at reverse / cuz you’re still only a monkey /But at least those little monkeys /were the first to go into space.”
Around 12 minutes Amy Brooks jumps in with harmonic back up vocals as they question “Are we heroes or are we / sick enough to be the super villain.” From the story they tell, being the super villain definitely sounds more fun. “An Idiot’s Guide” waxes and wanes through an impressive number of genres, from electro to folk goth, folk punk, acoustic folk and dubsteppy bass.
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