"Assumption" (Trifonic Laboratories; 2013)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Assumption" is yet another fine example of Slow Burning Car's grab bag style of hard rock'n'roll.

You could almost copy and paste my previous review for "Vol. 2 - The Scattering" to review this CD. Not that they sound so much the same, but both CDs have enough variety, enough weirdness, and enough undeniable talent poured into them to make them interesting from first track to last.

There's everything here from Foreigner-type radio hits to tracks that sound like the drug-induced instrumentals of the Doors ... and let's not forget the final track which is basically a one-minute Gregorian Chant like those heard in a Monty Python movie. The songs are solid throughout, as they were on the previous CD, great tunes with great licks and fast rhythms. I like "Assumption" a lot.

Incredibly well-produced and often bizarre stuff from this very cool band. 

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"Vol. 2 - The Scattering" (Trifonic Laboratories; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I don't know where to begin in describing the music on Slow Burning Car's "Vol. 2 - The Scattering." As my good friend Mike SOS states below, these musicians pride themselves in working with a multitude of musical colors. I hear everything on this CD from the band's self-professed space rock to 80s punk to Foreigner-style hard rock to early new wave and beyond. Hell, track 11, "Siren," even has a bit of modern country in it (sans twang).

So, if diversity is what you're looking for in a rock'n'roll band, you need look no further. No two tracks sound alike here. What's surprising is that, despite the wide variety of sounds and styles, the CD still stands together as a whole. That may have something to do with the band's amazing ability to create irresistible hooks, both instrumentally and vocally. "The Scattering" grabs your attention from the beginning and doesn't let go but it doesn't do it by bludgeoning you but rather by beckoning you along as it goes.

As I listen to "The Scattering," both Faith No More and King's X came to mind. Not so much because Slow Burning Car sounds like those bands but because their bold and original talent is similar.

The production on this CD also deserves to be mentioned. "The Scattering" has a crisp, clean sound that's perfectly balanced. The vocals are always at the optimal volume, as are all instruments. Stereo separation is used effectively and brilliantly, giving particular tracks ("Adama" comes most immediately to mind) a bigger sound. In fact, at times, the CD is almost too slick (a la Ozzy Osbourne's "The Ultimate Sin") but, thankfully, never really goes too far.

Slow Burning Car has come a long way from their "Blowback" CD to "The Scattering." I will listen to this CD often as I eagerly anticipate the band's next recorded work.

Slow Burning Car: Troy Spiropoulos (Agent Prime): Lead Vocals, Bass; Mike Zimmerman (Agent 3): Drums, Backing Vocals; Victor Bishop (Agent 4:20): Keys, samples, Backing Vocals; Duc V. Le (Agent 6): Lead Guitar; Sheila McSherry (Agent 5a): Backing Vocals; Krista Ray (Agent 5b): Backing Vocals.

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"Blowback" (Trifonic Laboratories; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

An eclectic rock smorgasbord comes to us via Slow Burning Car, whose 12-track "Blowback" emanates with an 80s hard rock foundation and launches from there, reaching into many different branches of the rock tree. 

Space rock, country, progressive, and light rock are some of the many colors this amalgamation of musicians work in, sounding like a modern rock radio station playlist set on random as cuts like "A Little Sign," "I Saw the Mountain," and "Rumbling Chief" come through the speakers. 

Definitely evoking a free form vibe, Slow Burning Car's presentation urges you to leave inhibitions at the door to truly soak in the quirky concoction brewed up by this California collective. 

Slow Burning Car: Troy Spiropoulos - Lead Vocals, Bass; Mike Zimmerman - Drums, Vocals; Corey Birkholz - Lead/Rhythm Guitar; Jim Le - Lead/Rhythm Guitar; Victor Bishop - Keys/Synths/FX, Vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2013 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:21 -0400.