Are you something of a one-stop-shopper like I am? When a band says its multi-genre & unique it had better be multi-genre and unique. In summation: you’re a music snob that likes his listening to hit all the perfect notes every single time. If this is in fact the case, then here is a record thats worth putting any preconceived notions aside and giving an honest to goodness listen. As a self-proclaimed fan of a ‘wide variety of music, I feel that on more than a few occasions a given artist or band can be a little too liberal with the concept of bending/blending multiple genres. Frankly, there are plenty of sub-genres out there to encompass a litany of “filler” in my eyes. Oh, you are a pseudo-avant-rock band with aspects of bluegrass and folk? Congratulations, you are every contemporary Mumford and Sons tribute currently in circulation.
That being said, when a band really has accomplished a robust & rather impressively sincere trans-genre record, let alone having successfully doing-so for 20+ years? Well …
Unleashing their 8th studio record: Meanwhile…Back at the lab, San Diego-based group Slightly Stoopid (597k listeners, 11million scrobbles) have done what many artists falsely claim to do: ‘be broadly appealing’. Yeah, theres a strong reggae vibe, but there is an appropriate amount of hip-hop therein as well, not to mention the west-coast punk attitude, while maintaining the bragging rights to versatility in multi-instrumentation (which thereby grants them jazz & funk cred as well.) I must admit, this is not one of those records that I would necessarily have had on my pull-list alongside my regular heavy-metal library, but this however is one of those bands & records that catches me off guard, shutting down any sort of assumptions I may have had and demanding my attention. And isn’t that what listening to music is all about? Pleasant surprises?
Back at the Lab’s title and album cover reference the band’s San Diego warehouse studio (The Lab at Stoopid Studios)-the band members’ home for their numerous creative and collaborative projects. Slightly Stoopid is Miles Doughty (guitar, bass, vocals), Kyle McDonald (guitar, bass, vocals), Ryan “Rymo” Moran (drums), Oguer “OG” Ocon (percussion), Daniel “Dela” Delacruz (saxophone), Paul Wolstencroft (keyboards), Andy Geib (trumpet, trombone) and “unofficial 8th member” Karl Denson of Greyboy Allstars (currently on the road playing with The Rolling Stones).
Slightly Stoopid is set to kick off its “Everything Is Awesome” summer 2015 tour on July 8 and will hit 40+ cities before concluding on September 19. For this run Slightly Stoopid has enlisted Cali cohorts Dirty Heads, The Expendables and Stick Figure to join them on the trek.
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p.s. BONUS Dirty Heads Last.fm Session from 2k12