I crawled into bed around 1 in the morning and decided to check my email one more time before slipping off to dreamland. I had no idea I would be greeted by the subject line: New release from SLOTHRUST. Well, needless to say I clicked play as quickly as I could and lay motionless and slack-jawed for the next four minutes and fifty seconds.
I woke up this morning to more email. The new communique was to inform me that there was also a new video to accompany the song. So I clicked that link as well, and again lay there, stoic as I was in slumber. There are not a lot of bands for which I will stay in bed. I’m getting older and the urge to pee when I wake up is usually the driving force in doing so. But today I said “NO! I will wait until I watch this video.”
The first half of the video reminds me of a Spalding Gray monologue, with Leah Wellbaum sitting behind a desk making eye contact with the camera. The second half is a trippy journey through her brain as she, herself, lays in bed. It’s an interesting dichotomy for a music video, and it captures the interrogative nature of the song. There’s a yearning to understand at the core of the song that feels completely universal.
I first heard Slothrust seven years ago this month, and they have yet to release something I haven’t loved. Whatever magic occurs when Wellbaum gets together with Will Gorin and Kyle Bann doesn’t wear off. If anything their spells grow stronger as time goes by. “Cranium” is no exception.
The lyrics Wellbaum writes often seem singular and strange, but they work incredibly well with the music. And a lot of them are really great, from “Crockpot” to “Horseshoe Crab,” and my personal favorite of theirs “Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone,” I think the writing is brilliant. Here on “Cranium” we get the lyric “I want to French braid your hair/With honey on my hands/I want to pluck your eyebrows for you/With my grandma’s antique tweezers.”
Unfortunately the information I was NOT emailed was about a new album coming soon. I’m hoping that’s the case, obviously. I stupidly saw on their Bandcamp page that there was a mystery vinyl on sale for $21 and I did not buy it because I had already spent money buying Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai, Short Cuts, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me earlier in the Criterion flash sale. Hopefully some more emails will hit my inbox with news of what’s next for the band sooner than later.