Forth Wanderers has never been a band to cut straight to the chase on their music.
Instead, they’re content to take listeners on long drives through picturesque soundscapes. Indeed, with its molasses guitars and folkloric vocals, the New Jersey band doesn’t have any place to be other than where they are.
This shows more on their new EP Slop than ever before. On their 2014 LP Tough Love, their arrangements were still deeply emotional, but more busy. A little quicker here, fuller measures there, the project was quality, but also had the distinct feel of a band still trying to figure themselves out, trying to settle on a musical identity — they are in college after all.
Slop, however, has the polish of a project made by a band well beyond the members of Forth Wanderers’ years. On it, they are more content to ride guitar riffs out, surf on the wavy vocals of Ava Trilling to their end and get lost in drum grooves — unconcerned with whatever place they find themselves in.
Though their EP is seemingly bite-sized with just 4 tracks, it hardly leaves any room for dessert. Its layered song arrangements, and emotionally-dense lyrics, offer more than enough to the listener, peacefully submerging them in sonic gooeyness.
Listening to Slop is like getting caught beneath the waves, but being able to breathe and see perfectly.
Every song stands strong on its own, but the titular track is absolutely breathtaking. It’s almost a duet between Ben Guterl’s guitar and Trilling’s vocals. Both express themselves with long-held notes, working in unison to create the song’s forlorn, yet so alive, emotional undertone.
It’s a gorgeous, dawdling track that captures perfectly what it is to take a walk, only to find oneself with nowhere to go, yet no desire to return to whence one came.
With Slop, the members of FW have more than justified their blooming national spotlight and the attention of A-listers like Lorde.
Now, if only college wouldn’t get in the way of their output.