5 out of 5
Label: Walt Records; Esther Records; Rhesus Records
Produced by: fuck
While slocore band fuck lumbered on with releases at a pace in sync with their often drawly playing style, over the course of 20+ years, fading in and out of activity, the group did ended up putting out quite a wealth of material. It’s one of those rare, thankful instances in the music world of a band who flirted with some relative fame – a peak of popularity (and perhaps notoriety, due to their name) with a couple of Matador releases back in the day – and yet continued to put out music of the same and greater quality years after that peak. There’s not a fuck album that I don’t enjoy, and while the group has pretty much stuck to the sad, occasionally silly, occasionally punky, folk spectrum, there is a distinctive feeling to each album that makes it worthwhile to explore their whole oeuvre, given you’ve liked one release or another. But what I find especially rewarding, whenever I listen to their second album (or their first official one), ‘pretty…slow,’ is how concise of a picture of their sound it is, covering the whole quiet and loud and downbeat and snarky range in 8 or 9 perfect tunes; it’s as though fuck impossibly knew they’d be making music for another couple of decades, and wanted to tease listeners with the “stick around to hear more” type of promise the album offers. Again, though, that’s not to suggest that pretty…slow doesn’t also stand alone: Hide Face and Shotgun (H)ours are some of the group’s best work, the former rocking out, the latter very minimalist, and both with the kind of purposefully charming looseness the band tends to effect.
pretty…slow, in its original CD forms, also has some of my favorite packaging ever, coming in a small box container with a coloring book, and Smarties, and little toy rattle…