Holy Roar Records just released the deluxe reissue of ‘Ease’, the debut EP from Belgium-based shoegaze masters SLOW CRUSH, following from last years release of their full-length “Aurora“, and to celebrate, we caught up with the band to learn more about their creative process and inspirations behind this amazing record. See the full first-hand commentary below.
Before Slow Crush’s debut album ‘Aurora’ and the relentless touring schedule that ensued (including a US tour, festival appearances and a headline UK tour), ‘Ease’, originally released by White Russian Records, Flood, Dingleberry Records, and TimTam Records, served as an introduction for their blend of ethereal and infectious dream pop-meets-shoegaze in the vein of My Bloody Valentine, with a nod to modern contemporaries like Teenage Wrist and Gleemer.
Accompanying the EP is four fan favourites taken from ‘Aurora’ and an alternative version of ‘Sway’, recorded at ABC studios courtesy of ‘Part Time Punks Sessions’ during the bands US tour. Within two years of the band’s formation, this collection of early material will no doubt go down as a vibrant document of an exceptional band in their infancy.
The band just got back from their UK/EU tour with Pelican and are gearing for another run with Portland post-punk outfit Soft Kill later this month! Also, the band touring the cold lands of Eastern and Northern US in winter 2020 with Grivo.
The Inspiration for the tracks on ‘Ease‘ (or any Slow Crush song, for that matter) came from a number of different styles and genres.
The ‘Ease‘ EP recordings were very low key. Initially intended as a demo, we were still finding our feet, still defining the style and sound that would eventually become Slow Crush.
Having all come from playing in hardcore, punk, metal and doom bands, the direction we wanted to go in with Slow Crush was totally different from what we were used to. A big difference for me personally was that this was also the first time that I took the role of vocalist, bringing me way out of my “hide behind the bass cabinet” comfort zone.
The records Feast of Love by Pity Sex and LSD and the Search for God’s self titled EP proved to be hugely influential for me at this time. Being quite soft spoken, both bands played a huge role in making me more comfortable with the natural timbre of my singing voice.
One of the first songs Steven, Jelle and I jammed together was ‘Wind Up’. Perhaps the punchy, up tempo vibe of this jam can still be heard in songs like ‘Dizzy’ and ‘Big Lip’. After these jam sessions we borrowed a bunch of recording gear from friends, one of which was Jan Jouck (who wasn’t part of the band at the time) and set up a studio in our living room. When we wrapped up the recording process and listened back to the recorded versions of the songs we were so happy with the result that we ended up sending it off as the final product. The release sparked fast interest with word eventually reaching a few of labels.
Vinyl copies of ‘Ease‘ sold out quickly and people have been asking for a repress ever since. We decided we couldn’t let them down any longer! So for those fans of ‘Ease’ we are happy to release ‘Ease Deluxe Edition’.
The deluxe edition contains the original 4 ‘Ease‘ tracks accompanied by a 4 track Part Time Punks live session we recorded at Cave Studio while on tour in LA. We hit the studio bright and early, still buzzed from our packed show at The Echo the night before. We had so much fun, made so many new friends (some creepily wanting locks of our hair and finger tips… for a friend, haha) and I got to catch up with an old class mate of mine who now lives out there.
Both experiences were unforgettable! We’re forever grateful to Michael Stock at Part Time Punks for giving us this opportunity. Working with Josiah Mazzaschi was a dream. He’s the friendliest, most humble guy on the planet and has recorded a ton of artists we love from Teenage Wrist to Torche, Idles to Narrow Head, Deap Vally to Death Bells… he even plays in a band called Bizou, which features members of The Smashing Pumpkins. The guy is an absolute legend! My jaw completely dropped when he told me I was singing into The Jesus and Mary Chain’s mic which they left with him after his stretch being their fixed sound engineer.
We were listening to heavier, doomy stuff like Alcest and Pallbearer while writing the ‘Aurora’ LP. Doomy bass tones can be heard as a result of this in songs like ‘Tremble’ and even in the way we brought the tempo down in ‘Sway’ for the PTP version.
Neige from Alcest came to our show at Supersonic in Paris. It was a little nerve wracking playing in front of such an influential musician. So happy and relieved he enjoyed the show! We got to hang out for a while after. Lovely guy and the songs they’ve released already from their new album ‘Spiritual Instinct’ sound huge. We can’t wait to hear the full record and see them play it live, some day. Some other influences include some of the bands we’ve been spinning in the van, of which our current favourites are Amusement Parks on Fire and The Japanese House! These make for a refreshing change of pace between the standard 80s pop sing-a-longs.