The meteoric rise of Belgian shoegazers Slow Crush has been something to behold. Following the release of their highly acclaimed debut album Aurora via Holy Roar Records in 2018, the band embarked on a rigorous touring schedule, gathering the adulation and loyal following, and the critical praise they rightly deserve. The time seems right then for a re-release of their four track debut EP Ease, expanded here to include four additional live tracks, providing a perfect snapshot of both their humble beginnings and where the band are today.
Opening track ‘Dizzy’ encapsulates everything that makes the band so wonderful: treacle thick guitars, Isa Holliday’s breezy and ethereal vocals, and an atmosphere that is so intoxicating and dreamlike it’s impossible to resist. The ’90s influences shine through on this track too, recalling Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins and the rich, warm-blanket tones of My Bloody Valentine. ‘Sway’ follows in a similar fashion, the intro guitars shimmering like the morning sun on a sleeping sea. All the hallmarks that would make Aurora so special are here in abundance and it’s a testament to the band’s talents as to how accomplished it all sounds, especially considering this was recorded in the band’s living room on borrowed equipment. ‘Biglip’ takes a heavier and faster route, showcasing the band members’ hardcore and punkier beginnings. Once again however, Holliday’s vocals smooth out these rough edges, lifting the track to another plain, steering the song far above the clouds.
The four live tracks on offer here demonstrate how the band are effortlessly able to replicate their studio magic into a live setting. ‘Aurora’ the haunting title track that closes their debut album sounds blissful here, as the guitar leads intertwine effortlessly with Holliday’s vocals. An beautiful alternate version of ‘Sway’ is included here followed by ‘Tremble’, a haunting ballad-like track about giving a voice to the world’s unheard and forgotten. It sounds even more touching live as the delicate echo drenched intro sparkles with sorrow before Hallidays’s rumbling bass shudders the song to life. ‘Glow’ is an absolute stormer both in a live setting and on record, proven here as Halliday’s vocals are propelled along by some addictive riffing and driving drum work.
In all, this expanded edition of Ease is a must for Slow Crush fans, and with the inclusion of the four live tracks this expanded version of Ease would also serve as a perfect entry point for curious newcomers to the band.
Ease is released on 25th October via Holy Roar Records and can be purchased here.
Discover more about Slow Crush by reading reading our interview with the band’s vocalist/bassist Isa Holliday here.
Words: Adam Pegg