Slang is the language of generations. In the 50s, there was cool, necking, and kookie. In the 60s, there was hassle, vibes, and far-out. In the 70s, there was dig, bogus, and gross. In the 80s, there was go-postal, crib, and wicked. In the 90s, there was fo-shizzle, bling, and hood. And the millennium brought in words like holla, dope, and swag. These words help to bond and create a comradery between like-minded people. Most of these words eventually went out of style, and some were recycled. The word “cool” seems to have stuck around longer than most. So, if someone were to refer to your ideas as “cool” most likely you have struck the right cord. But, what about a band who just decides to name itself The Slang? Are they cool, dope, far-out, or just bogus?
For starters, The Slang is a two man band that has managed to expand their soundscape through voice and musical effects. They are from Columbus, Ohio and both share the first name John. John Bobo is the lead singer, and John Newsome plays bass and electric guitar. Their new self-titled EP is just under twenty minutes and is an easy-on-the-ears pop rock effort. Starting with the first song “Far From Over” it’s clear that this duo’s goal was to introduce themselves as a mainstream act. “Far From Over” begins with some layering of instrumentals while the silvery vocals slightly echoes and moves the track along nicely. The message conveyed in this song is somewhat benign; troubles don’t go away if you don’t try hard enough. Well, that’s cool.
The next track “Feels Like Work” is accompanied by a stop motion lyric video that metaphorically tells the story of a relationship gone too sour to fix. The musical arrangement on this track is first-rate and works perfectly with the visuals. Some hearts have missing parts that no tool can put back together. “One Step At A Time” starts off with pretty guitar work that leads into percussions before John Bobo sings about the creative process needing a certain amount of cadence. As for this song, it has the right movement between the instruments and vocals to deliver the message.
I would say that the pulse of this band rests in the way they complement each other and keep the momentum going. There’s nothing spurious about them; they are professional at what they do. However, there’s nothing avant-garde about them either. But they are worth the while to cop a listen.