Recommended Tracks: “Divide”, “Speed of Sound”, “To The End”
Artists You May Like: Snow Patrol, The Killers, Lifehouse
For Felix Nieto and John Bobo, best known as alt rock duo The Slang, it is all about taking a great sound and making it even better. The two artists care about a listener’s experience with music and use their songwriting and production skills to create the best songs possible. Whether they are delivering lyrics that fill us with longing or giving nostalgic guitar melodies a modern twist, The Slang find innovative ways to stay relevant and set themselves apart from other up-and-coming bands. Ready to make their debut with Divide, The Slang let us into the world that they have been so carefully crafting from the start.
When you listen to the ten tracks on Divide, you feel on the cusp of something great. The cozy timbre of John’s voice and the warmth of the music put you in a nostalgic space where Matchbox Twenty and The Goo Goo Dolls were constantly on the radio, their songs bringing forth closure or a new lease on life. In a similar way, The Slang attempt to piece together the bigger picture, with songs that break down problems and relationships. We have tracks like “Fiction” that search for truth, as well as tracks like “Throw It Away” that focus on a better tomorrow. The hope that comes through in these songs replaces concrete answers or potential life advice, inspiring listeners to keep exploring, keep trying.
Better illustrating this inquisitive theme are the first three tracks on Divide. Each track tells a different story, which is shown over the course of their music videos. Starting with “Nothing Lasts Forever,” we hear about a relationship that should probably have ended a long time ago, but goes on. John sings, “Last time was the last time, until I fall again,” implying that the addictive nature of this relationship is impossible to break. The story continues with “Disguise,” which shows how addiction can manifest into lies and ugly façades. When the lies and deceit pile up, it can lead to people picking sides, as told in “Divide.” The track centers on that inevitable split, but also on the work that goes into keeping a relationship together. All of these stories remain open-ended, prolonging the timelessness of their narratives; we may relate to one or all of these tracks down the line, and when we do, they will be here to help.
The feel of each song has a lot to do with the messages in the lyrics, and The Slang are very good at playing up or dressing down a track’s overall sound to emphasize a mood. The slow-burning alt-rock of “Break The Rules,” for instance, tugs at our heartstrings as John sings about the torment of moving on from someone. There is also the more contemporary sounding “Speed of Sound,” which plays on the fantasy of rebuilding a relationship. The cheerful melodies, falsetto, and cosmic production make it the song to dance to if you had to pick one dance-worthy track from the album. The diversity that The Slang give us is refreshing, and if incorporating such variety was a risk, it was worth it.
Overall, Divide confirms that The Slang are here to stay. Their methods are working, as each track made an impression. Rather than give us a collection of indie pop songs that are all the rage, and that the guys are more than capable of producing, they experimented and tapped into genres that can speak to more emotions and audiences. It was exciting to hear, special to be a part of, and worth all of the effort that The Slang put forth.
You can listen to Divide on platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, and SoundCloud.
Become a member of The Slang Gang here.