It has been said there is strength in “weakness”—in exposing fear and faults, doubts and despair and pain. If so, then Slow Bullet’s debut LP Still Close Enough to Go Back is as strong as an album gets. In it, singer and songwriter Sam DeBurgh exhibits a range of emotions. Recorded by Matt Frank (You Blew It!, Their / They're / There, Annabel) at Atlas Studios in Chicago, IL, many of the tracks showcase DeBurgh’s quiet uncertainty. Songs like “The Fiscal Year” feature a bristling bass and plodding drums, but the lacy guitars cling to these rhythm elements like spiderwebs; DeBurgh’s voice barely climbs above a murmur, even during the climactic chorus, where his lyrics painting a sober family portrait as colorful guitars splash against the beat. On the more volatile songs, though, Slow Bullet shows its full potential. “Let Us Not Grow Weary In Doing Good,” the album’s opening track, builds up suddenly; here, the bass roils beneath stormy chords, and DeBurgh’s roar reveals his full humanity. This spectrum of emotion doesn’t make Slow Bullet special. Instead, the stories on Still Close Enough to Go Back are special in their rawness, in their red and sensitive execution. Here are songs simultaneously beautiful and brutal, fragile and furious. Here are songs that illustrate how and where and why there is strength in weakness. -Dane Erbach
FOR FANS OF: Pedro the Lion, Mansions, Into It. Over It.