Led by guitarist/singer/songwriter Leah Wellbaum, Brooklyn’s Slothrust is a rock band of musicians from the jazz/blues tradition who sound nothing like jazz musicians playing rock. Beneath the know-how their aesthetic is punk-as-fuck. How perfect, right? You get the zap without the Zappa, not a lot of Yes but a load of Oh Hell Yeah! Slothrust’s musicianship sneaks up on you, because the first thing that grabs you is how insanely catchy these songs are. Then you realize that it all comes down to the fact that they play fearlessly and full of tenacity. Rock 'n Roll.
Formed amidst the ashes of Leah’s solo project, entitled Slothbox (“The box rusted,” she explains…obvs!) Slothrust was forged with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. With the added dynamics of a tight, powerful and funky rhythm section, Slothrust is a forceful trio as unsettling and capricious as their name. We now have Of Course You Do, the band’s label debut and follow-up to their 2012 self-released full-length, Feels Your Pain.
With her deep, charismatic vocals, most reminiscent of Nico with the edge of Isaac Brock circa ‘97, Wellbaum sings about alienation, awkwardness and absurdity, and damn if she doesn’t make it all sound kind of fun. "Crockpot" is a dark, yet funny and irreverent take on the struggle for human connection in a society built to make us feel isolated: “Some men purchase real dolls / to fill the void / But she don't finish dinner and her expression never changes / Don't shake
hands with the lonely kids 'cause I hear that shit's contagious”. “Juice” is a paean to realizing the limits of self-improvement: “My name is Leah and I drink juice every morning when I wake up but it’s no use, I’m unwell”. She evokes feeling while sounding despondent, all the while with catchy melodies – pulling off Stephen Malkmus' Pavement-era feats of writing and delivery. On top of the solid writing and rhythm section, her playing style ranges from simple eloquence to
hard-edged, aggressive guitar solos.