FEATURE: Lower Slaughter’s Track By Track Influences | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Lower Slaughter return with the release of their second album Some Things Take Work on Friday 29th March on Box Records. Guitarist Jon Wood talks us through the influences on the tracks on the new album ahead of its release.

1. Gas
The little widdly-walky bit on the main riff was from a song idea of an old band of mine called Sausage Party. The song (and in fact, the band) never went anywhere. 
I was at Supernormal Festival 2017 and that little walky-widdly bit suddenly popped into my head. I spent the rest of the festival walking round running that riff in my head and fleshing it out to be a new song in my mind. By the time I got home I had written the whole song in my head and played it pretty much in its completed state the first time I picked up a guitar. 
Things like this pretty much never happen but it’s cool when they do (usually I get an idea in my head that I think is really rocking only to try it on a guitar and discover it’s actually totally limp).
Fortunately everyone else liked the song and we played it for the first time live at a gig in a teeny practice room gig in Newcastle. Seemed to go down ok…

2. Reboundaries
Barney often does a comical count-in to this song (usually in some terribly inaccurate accent) which is one of the main reasons for being in a band with him.  

3. Some Things Take Work
If I recall correctly this was one of the first songs that got written for this album. In fact we played it at the first album launch gig. Wayne (the recording engineer) made me do this crazy little synthy-type thing on the chorus hook bit which I felt like a right tit doing but actually it sounds pretty cool. 
Whenever we play this live our perpetual inability to have the guitar and bass stay in tune with each is often dramatically and painfully shown up in the bit where the guitar drops out and then fades back in. Fortunately it turned out ok on the recording.

4. Into The Woods
The original idea for this song was recorded very quietly on an unplugged electric guitar in my front room. You can hear chatter from people walking past and birds squawking in the background which at the time I thought was incredibly cool and really wanted to try and keep on the record. Instead it went all mondo heavy as per usual, which I think is probably for the better.
Sinead’s lyrics and vocal performance on this song is just incredible and makes me well up every time I hear it which is probably a really narcissistic thing to say but I really do think it sounds great.
I did about ten tracks and ten minutes of the guitar feedback for the ending and was gutted when the consensus was to chop it after twenty seconds, but that’s the perpetual struggle of a guitarist in a band I guess.

5. Revenant
In the feedback bit before the song kicks back in I’m pretty sure our mixing instructions to Wayne were to make the guitar “go fucking mental”.

6. Hindsight
This was another song where the intro riff had been kicking around for ages but we just couldn’t find anything to complete the song. It was a passing comment from Sinead about doing the descending bit twice that unlocked the whole rest of the song.
Again, I really think the words on this song are totally rad. It’s got that vibe I like in a lot of old Motown songs where the music is kinda chipper but the words are cutting up your heart. 

7. Splits
Another song that had been around for a while. It’s got a funny vibe to it – sort of driving but chopping too. Barney is super proud of the bass slide he does at the end of the second verse.  
I really wanted to go all-out harmonising guitars at the end a la Thin Lizzy but unfortunately I’m really not at all equipped for being bale to play that kind of stuff.

8. The Measure Of A Man
For all the Star Trekkies out there!
The verse riff for this song came about as I was trying to figure out a song by Creston Spiers that he’d posted up on his Patreon page. Obviously I couldn’t work it out but my half-intelligent attempt ended up turning into this riff instead. 

9. A Portrait Of The Father
This one had a totally different opening riff that kind-of stymied the whole rest of the song. One practice that opening riff suddenly appeared and it opened the way for the rest of the song to evolve. 
This song is a delicate push-pull balance between us all and it rarely goes totally to plan – fortunately this recording turned out ok I think. We went a bit nuts at the end and there’s a Hammond organ, piano and pump organ all having a go over that droney bit. Possibly even a gong too if memory serves?

10. The Body
I recall being pretty tipsy when I came up with that first riff – even though it’s mega simple I remember playing it over and over for about an hour to try and drill it into my mind.
After all that I was worried everyone else would just think it was a Jesus Lizard rip-off but no one else seemed to notice. I did a little bit at the end of the second verse that made me think Bilge Pump would be knocking on my door but again, no one noticed.
We hadn’t heard Sinead’s lyrics properly on this one until she recorded her vocal parts, & we were blown away by this R&B style vocal breakdown in the middle. Totally sounds like something that would be used as a sample on a Detroit techno track or something.

Lower Slaughter release Some Things Take Work on Friday 29th March on Box Records.

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