The MMH team feel it is important to let you know that Slump guitarist and vocalist, Matt Noble, is also a regular contributor to MMH. While this review attempts to assess the musical output separately from the professional relationship we have with Matt, we ask that readers keep this in mind as they read.
When releasing a debut single there’s a lot of pressure, even if you have a relatively small following- it needs to be a statement of intent, and something you can feel happy with being the only thing potential fans might hear before seeing you live. Nothing More is Slump’s very first release, and smartly they have packaged it with the b-side Degenerate which allows them to demonstrate their skill across the spectrum of what stoner rock can be.
Nothing More itself shows the Sabbath worship at the heart of any good band in this sphere. Its slow, Bluesy doom riffs are executed with precision over a drum line with the perfect amount of swing to keep things tight but never feel too ploddy. Lead guitar lines are used to embellish riffs in all the right places. The final minute or so when the pace picks up, is a brilliant choice that helps the song close in style and really shows that, unlike a lot of their peers, Slump are just as good at going fast as they are at going slow. My only real gripes would be around the fact that the riffing becomes a lot more simplistic under the vocals and the melody lines aren’t as strong as they could be- an area where the genre often struggles in deference to have huge riffs. While there are areas of the production that I’d like to see improved in future, it’s hard to criticise a new band for not having a huge production budget.
The more upbeat Degenerate has another excellent bluesy lead riff, often accented by guitar harmonies. It certainly feels like a tour de force on the drums, which liven up what is quite uninspired riffing under the verses- which needs a bit more going on than just chord stabs to hold my interest. This is exacerbated by the vocal melody not being strong enough to carry the song- this is definitely an area I’d like to see Slump improve their craft for future releases. Toward the end of the song there’s a section of fairly complex sounding guitar harmonies- this is great from a song writing perspective but in terms of execution it’s quite messy. This is down to the two guitar tracks being slightly, but noticeably, out of sync. Another take on one of these would have really helped smooth things over.
Nothing More is a great first single for Slump. It may not be ground breaking, but every band has to start somewhere. Not only is this single great but it ooze potential. I might prefer my stoner and doom a little more apocalyptically heavy, but Slump know what they want to do and they’re pulling it off bloody well.
Nothing More is out 22nd September, and can be pre-saved or streamed here.