Glory Kid Ltd. released the debut offering from Seattle Washington’s Slow Code on cassette and digital formats on December 18. Influenced by the pioneering sounds of ’90s post-hardcore, the Marketable Skills EP presents a direct approach to songwriting as the band makes their way through their debut offering. The five songs balance dissonance and accessibility not unlike their predecessors in Self Defense Family, Lungfish, Fugazi, and Unwound. They could easily be placed on a mixtape alongside any of those artists. Marketable Skills was engineered, mixed and mastered by Nich Wilbur at The Unknown in Anacortes, WA. A studio renovated out of an early 20th century church.
Slow Code guitarist/vocalist Charlie Wagner took a minute to share the releases that he found skillful this year:
Ten bands that put out records that made me think that life aint so bad after all.
Blood Drugs (s/t) are life-affirming in the best, most punked out ways possible. I wish my youth had been soundtracked by this band.
Cherubs (2 Ynfynyty) are the demon-worshipping shoegaze band you never knew you needed.
Clean Girls (Despite You) are city-burning car-flipping rage-inducement at its finest, nearly weaponry.
Downtown Boys (Full Communism) simultaneously expand and refine “punk” at the same time, and their songs are ferocious and wild and really fucking great to boot.
Earl Sweatshirt (I Don’t Like Shit I Don’t Go Outside) is tension, claustrophobia, and paranoia run amok.
GY!BE (Asunder Sweet and Other Distress) is the weight of WHAT WE COULD HAVE BEEN crushing you somehow optimistically.
Kendrick Lamar (To Pimp a Butterfly) put out the densest LP I’ve heard all year, layers upon layers, fit for analyzation. Like all Great Art it gives back ten-fold what you put into it.
Mommy Long Legs (Life Rips + Assholes) are rough, sassy, crude, and totally honest, the most joyful band on the planet.
Serial Hawk (Searching For Light) are the perfect fusion of tone, volume, and space, expansive and enveloping.
Wildhoney (Sleep Through It + Your Face Sideways) are the only band that actually nails that “wistful” thing, hummable melancholy.