Track Attack: Slothrust — ‘Milking the Snake’

Posted: by The Editor


Slothrust are an odd beast. For the last half-decade, the Brooklyn trio have been putting out unusually bluesy indie-punk that, for lack of a truly decent comparison, falls somewhere in the midst of Screaming Females, Courtney Barnett and Ty Segall. You can hear jazz, grunge and more traditional indie rock (some flakes of Modest Mouse-y builds) in their paintbox as well, but the main commonality between Slothrust and those aforementioned acts is that they all shred.  Like, four of the best guitarists within the broad net of contemporary indie rock—and Slothrust’s Leah Wellbaum doesn’t just barely make the cut, she’s rivaling the front-runner.

This is especially apparent on “Milking the Snake,” the band’s latest single that was recorded during the sessions for last year’s excellent Everyone Else LP.  In an interview with DIY about the track, Wellbaum says she was going for “Black Sabbath at the beach,” which is an all-too-fitting description for the contrast between the meaty opening riff and Wellbaum’s hilariously matter-of-fact lyrics about milking a snake. It’s not an innuendo, she literally is singing about how fun it is to milk a snake for venom.

Considering the general structure of the song is relatively similar to a handful of Everyone Else‘s riffiest tracks, it’s understandable why it didn’t make the cut. Regardless, the solo that carries out the last half of the song is a delightful exposé of Wellbaum’s fret-tearing capabilities. Most bands don’t have the luxury of tossing a performance like that in the B-side bin.

Eli Enis | @eli_enis