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Album Review

The title of Detroit-based Slumber Party's sophomore album accurately sums this one up nicely, as it comes across as both neo-psychedelic and somewhat delicate all at once, recalling the paisley underground revival pop of groups like Opal and Mazzy Star and the diaphanous harmonic filigree of outings by Denise James and Damon & Naomi. Producer Matthew Smith, allowing only moderate overdubbing here, polishes their somewhat naïve yet deceptively abstruse dream pop until it has a sophisticated sheen, still shining and dripping with soft reverb. Many of the tracks have a similar sound overall — an analgesic-soaked ambience, often recalling the Velvet Underground's melancholy self-titled third album — but the restrained, under-amped, drifting guitars and Maureen Tucker-ish rum-tum-tum floor-tom/snare beats seem to mesh well with Aliccia Berg's comely but drowsy Nico-on-NyQuil-style vocals. The album begins, somewhat appropriately, with the hiss of an amp kicking to life, foreshadowing the reverb-rich, tape-echo-saturated sound that continues throughout. The album's centerpiece, "Everyone Else I Know," is a simplistic, organ-driven track. "Soldier" has a amiable country-rock feel, highlighted by Gretchen Gonzales' shimmering lead guitar, while the smoldering "My Little One" is the very antithesis of the murky Detroit rawk sound that many of the Motor City's best bands continue to pattern themselves on.


Formed: 1998

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

As core contributors to the new musical renaissance of Detroit, Slumber Party conveys stunningly slow femme doom rock with a late-night vibe. Conceived in 1998, they initially structured melodies in the form of edgy chanteuse songcraft. Two years later they signed with major independent label Kill Rock Stars. Slumber Party has since strayed from overt rock formulas in favor of minimalist atmospherics with a phased guitar sensibility. Beat machines and synthesized tones fill the soundscape of achingly...
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Psychedelicate, Slumber Party
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