Totally Slow: Greensboro’s Gen X Post Punk DarlingsNov 19th, 2012 | By Guest Author | Category: Entertainment, Sounds
So much of the punk rock sound just comes at you hard, like a man with no finesse, and leaves you empty inside. Twenty five years ago, many a night I came home from a hardcore show, bruised and exhilarated, lonely but totally full of IT and lovin’ IT, whatever IT is.
But at some point, I needed a band that knew how to breathe. Learning the body of a song. Flirting and then moving in for the kill, but at just the right moment pulling back… the silence between notes almost more powerful than the notes themselves. Any idiot can fill in a two minute song with that hardcore sound. But it takes an experienced band to play to the crowd rather than to their own egos. To gain experience takes many years of dark dusty basement shows, many years of warehouse anarchy dirty bathroom shows. Then one day, the musicians look at their lives and realize that not only have they put all of the traditional expectations under their belts, you know… jobs, wives, children, mortgages, taxes… but amazingly, these punks have kept their sound. Kept that raw energy. And no longer do they need to prove that they are cool… they just are.
Totally Slow is one of the rare bands that have this ability. The ability to recognize that balancing hardcore with a cute little pop hook is more valuable than any big dick macho aggressive music available. I would rather have Totally Slow’s tight eight song set than a thousand meaningless nights of raucous empty punk romp.
Totally Slow filled the showroom of Revolution Cycles, on Spring Garden Street in Greensboro, NC. How did this tiny strip mall of nothing turn into the hippest spot in Greensboro? Well, it starts with a bicycle shop to top anything in the Triad. Mountain bikes, road bikes, girly retro tooling bikes, plus accessories like plaid helmets, storm trooper helmets and let’s not forget the free pizza and beer!
Are these guys talking to Gen X? Because we are listening. The Gen X post punks are hungry. The Gen X post punks eat organic and drink craft brews, the Gen X post punks can afford a top of the line mountain bike, the Gen X post punks crave the raw yet thoughtful sound of Totally Slow. And the beauty of this crowd of forty year old art directors, cool as hell mommies, and all around rebellious grownups is that for just a moment there is no division between the generations. The music of Totally Slow brings out the twenty somethings, the fringe, the Avant Garde of Greensboro and there are even a few elementary school children popping Skittles and hanging out past their bedtime.
The members of Totally Slow have been playing together on and off for more than twenty years. And the years have not stripped them of their youth, but instead have given them an outlet to express everything they were attempting to capture in their 20’s. The guitarist front man, Scott Hicks, has rambling funny dialogue and intense vocals. The drummer, Andy Foster has a nonchalant, wicked talent, and the bass player, Greg Monroy, is an undeniable union of man and machine. They are still dorks, but dorks to be reckoned with.
Totally Slow is more than a decent hardcore band, it is a really freaking good hardcore band, and this jaded aging punk rocker has seen some of the best. I can try to review the band, but my ten year old son said it best after his first Totally Slow show. “Greg (Monroy) has the same taste in music as you, mom. It’s rebel music, like maybe when this music started, the first guy didn’t know how to play guitar.” But these guys do and they do it well.
Check out Totally Slow’s new 3-song EP, Acid Rain. Available on iTunes and Amazon.com. Recorded August 2012 at Legitimate Business in Greensboro NC.
Trina Olson is a fan of The Fall who enjoys ruining Julie Joyce’s crush on Mark E. Smith. She’s also annoyingly good looking.