Slutever // Almost Famous
Recommended Track: Maggot
Within the first seconds of opening track “Smother,” it is apparent that Slutever is not fucking around.
From the first track’s fast riffs to songs like “Teen Mom”, which begin slowly only to bloom into an aural ruckus, Slutever brings a dynamic and refreshing set of sounds to every track on Almost Famous. The bratty punk duo skillfully pack each song with diverse instrumentation, as well as lyrics that span a vast expanse of experience. While Almost Famous is a six track punk EP and clocks in at about twenty minutes, it feels much more gigantic than that. Almost Famous is an album about dealing with shitty folks (“Maggot”) and struggling with growing up (“Open Wide”) presented through the eyes and experiences of two young women who are allowing themselves to be vulnerable through their music. As someone who identifies as a woman, I always find the emergence of young folks who identify the same way to be inspiring when they open themselves up through art.
The sociopolitical implications of Slutever being two badass young women aside, every single track on Almost Famous is rad. The duo definitely brings in a wide array of influences to their work on this album, all the while making each sound and track truly their own. Take the gravelly snarl of the lyrics and minimal instrumentation on second track, “I Miss America,” for example; it howls like the poetic and raw sounds of Patti Smith, especially closer to her Horses-era releases. While the lyrical content, including the anaphoric line, “You’re already drunk, it’s ten AM,” is closer in vibe to that of a Bikini Kill lyric, Slutever brings a more modern sound to their work.
Songs like “Teen Mom” are also really impressive since they utilize similar aural styles to songs like “I Miss America” while also bringing in some dream poppy interludes layered with nasally vocals. Slutever has shown on Almost Famous that they are more than able to acknowledge those who have come before them musically, as well as to blaze their own scorched trail. What also sets them apart are tracks like “You Asked For It,” which is a 1:22 minute instrumental track with a provocative title. Whether it is an allusion to someone asking for some heavy punk jams, or if it is more of a parody of the fallacy some folks adopt when trying to explain sexual violence against women and other nonmaleidentifying folks, it’s a dense track for its length.
“Maggot” by Slutever is maybe one of the best tracks I’ve heard in a while. With lyrics like “Piles of trash, I won’t let you hatch because you’re bugging me/…Pour bleach on your head/now you’re dead,” Slutever is, while presenting violent lyrics, taking an active stand against a garbage can of a person. Lyrics like these have the potential to be offputting and even troubling, but the instrumentation of the track and the upbeat vocal work on “Maggot” make it catchy while still retaining its substance. This duo makes a point to balance the memorable nature of their sound with lyrics that stand out amongst their contemporaries. The major takeaway from Almost Famous for me is that Slutever is aggressive in their assertions, no matter what they may be, making this release a truly great EP.