Merriam-Webster defines slang as “words that are not considered part of the standard vocabulary of a language and that are used very informally in speech especially by a particular group of people”, and “an informal nonstandard vocabulary composed typically of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech”. While this alternative pop rock duo sounds familiar (with elements reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World, Coldplay, The Killers, and Snow Patrol), they also seem to have grown into a sound that is uniquely theirs, making for a listen that is both “more of the same” while being relatively fresh. This makes The Slang, a two-piece affair featuring John Bono on vocals and various instruments and John Newsome on bass, a band that reflects its name quite aptly.
Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, The Slang have just released their debut, self-titled, five-track EP. It starts off with the upbeat, anthemic, and slightly quirky “Far from Over”, which has the general appeal that pop rock tracks typically have. The following “Rule the World” has a pop punk rock feel to it strongly reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World and Yellowcard. I like how the track ended with over a minute that is purely instrumental, which manages to carry forward the story of the song.
The emotion-laden vocals come through especially in the third track, “One Step at a Time”. Steeped in elements of alternative rock, it also features some of the most pristine guitar of the EP, making for the stickiest melody The Slang has to offer. And while all the songs are well layered, “Feels Like Work” is the track that makes the layers work at their best. It also happens to be the song an emotionally ridden person would seek comfort in and feel much better after listening to it. The anthemic lead single would no doubt make for a powerful live performance. The melody of last track “Find a Way” seems befitting of the month the EP is being released in, as September marks the end of summer.
The sound on this EP is polished, yet not overworked and has a radio-friendly quality to it. Combined with catchy melodies and ear-catching vocals, The Slang makes for an alternative pop release that will appeal to many. It is available to buy at outlets such as Amazon.com, iTunes and Bandcamp. More information about the band is available on their official website.
First published here on Blogcritics.