Published Sep 02, 2016In 2009, Exclaim! hailed Slow Down Molasses as the Broken Social Scene of the Prairies, but these days, Swervedriver might be a better comparison; SDM have evolved from a sprawling art-pop collective into a more muscular, shoegaze-y, post-punk outfit.
The driving rhythms and angular guitars of "New Release" evoke Queens of the Stone Age and Interpol, while first single "Moon Queen" recalls both My Bloody Valentine's "When You Sleep" and Ladyhawk's "I Don't Always Know What You're Saying." "Flowers" sounds like a Beach House redux of Moby's "We are all made of stars." SDM draw from an ethereal universal musical consciousness, sounding familiar without being derivative.
There are also some experimental moments. Around 2:43 in "Intentions," there's a little chromatic freakout that breaks up the otherwise droning track. It recurs at the song's end, cleansing our aural palate before "Moon Queen." It's a small detail that provides evidence of the meticulous care taken here.
If the lyrics here are any indication, lead singer Tyson McShane might be falling apart. On both "New Release" and "Moon Queen," he sings that he "has been waiting" for something or someone. On "Intentions" he sings repeatedly that "I give myself away" repeatedly, while "Levitation Sickness" finds him repeating "I can't believe in you" in the first verse and "I'm drowning in the night" in the second. The world's got McShane down, making the album title at once ironic and hopeful.
There's a rambunctiousness throughout that makes 100% Sunshine feel vital and relevant — no small feat for a decade-old band. More importantly, Slow Down Molasses face existential dread head-on here, shaking their fists at the void and clinging tightly to the warmest parts of this life. (Noyes)