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"Walk into the Sea"

7.5/10
Slow Down, Molasses – Walk into the Sea
07 September 2011, 14:07 Written by Slavko Bucifal
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Molasses by nature is extremely slow moving but super sticky and sweet, though not something you would want to ingest on its own as the thick syrup is best used for your aunt’s cake recipe. That, in a nutshell, describes Walk into the Sea, the second full-length release from Slow Down, Molasses.

If their name is any indication, the collective based in the Canadian prairie city of Saskatoon are not afraid to slow things down at times preferring the accompaniment of meandering, unhurried horns over their electric guitars. Their story telling is a direct reflection of the endless landscape that surrounds them in their home city. For those who have never ventured into the Canadian prairie, picture golden wheat fields and tall grasses stretching farther than the eye cares to see or mind dares to comprehend. At times life can be long and desolate, especially through the winter. During the spring and summer, there is an energy and spirit about the prairies unmatched anywhere. Both of these ideals reflect the place where Walk into the Sea finds itself, and like the memory of driving endless hours through the open landscape, the songs stick to your innards one at a time capturing the spirit of true Canadiana.

Slow Down, Molasses is an 8-piece band that favour the art of placing musical notes with purpose rather than playing something as a group because they can. As a result, Walk into the Sea is a richly layered experience that refuses to rush through the proceedings which, once again, is reminiscent of spending time in the prairies. And while Slow Down, Molasses falls somewhere in the folk-pop neighborhood , they are not afraid to push boundaries with walls of layered guitar noise creating elements somewhat similar to Broken Social Scene but with a country twist.

There is no doubt the songs on Walk into the Sea are beautiful on their own, but the album is not something you play in its entirety; that endeavor might leave you exhausted. Most of the tracks start at a crawls pace and build towards a power that only a band as large as this can provide. The anticipation of the reunified instruments is certainly gratifying, but becomes something best left to experience in small doses, and like your aunt’s cake, should only be enjoyed sparingly.

Of course, there are a few indie ditties that provide interludes to the epics, ‘Late Night Radio’ and ‘Feathers’ emerging as the highlights in that realm, but largely, it is the slower and more methodical tracks that sound complete and give the album its vibe.

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