The Tooting equivalent of Ty Segall or Thee Oh Sees, Steve a.k.a. Slushy Guts turns out records at a noble rate, quicker even than he produces his stunning posters. The records become more accomplished the more he releases, but don’t lose their questing experimentalism and playful poetics. The songs still have the same echo of the Silver Jews, the albums maintain the same barely produced sound, and the band still uses the same broken equipment and cheap recorders, but the tracks on ‘Honey…’ have lost their approximation and now hit their avant garde aspirations with greater frequency.
‘Partly, Never Really’ is a triumph of discordance, a wall of bedroom noise through which a guitar struggles to be heard, while a dog haunts the background: ramshackle but in the best way. The spooky minimalism of ‘Barely Standing’ follows a different tempo, hardly played, teetering over the abyss of inertia at times, the essence of slo-core. The 84-second ‘Flags Waving In The Airless Vacuum Of Space’ chooses weird time signatures and sounds like a machine malfunctioning, but in a spirit of organised chaos.
Less abstract by comparison to these others, ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’ is more of a song, sweet-sounding and darkly described (“momentarily, my mother went blind”) but then bursts open in a comedy of misplaced hitchhiking, cowshit and feathers. ‘Tomorrow Will Be Wasted’ embraces a very pretty riff and is gentle but distorted while the awesome ‘Refracted’ is a primo-grade proto-rock’n’roll gem, layered with screeching guitars and gut-churning drums for hypnotic effect.
There are 9 releases on Slushy's Bandcamp page and each has something beautifully askew to commend it but this latest release is a new high, exploring further and with more confidence, still scratchy and raw but with a real directing, defining sound: wonky and wonderful.