Hello everybody! My name is Memo and I am the newest member of the Indie Pong gang. Here’s a little bit about me. I have a music youtube channel with over 2,000 subscribers called FancyMemo. I do reactions, reviews, discussions, vinyl record videos, and other music-related content. I am a huge hip hop and rap fan. Although that is my go to genre I do like exploring other genres. I like to give everything a chance, so being a part of the Indie Pong family seems to be a perfect fit. I also work part time at an elementary school and I am a full-time student at Cal State Fullerton. Although I am a busy guy, I do love talking about music, so I am very happy about being able to share my thoughts about music here on Indie Pong. With all that said, lets get into this Slauson Malone reiew.
Slauson Malone is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer from New York. Although he has been making music with the group Standing on the Corner, I first discovered him when he released his debut album A Quiet Farwell, 2016–2018. Although I didn’t understand the appeal at first, A Quiet Farwell quickly grew on me and it ended up becoming my third favorite album released last year. I like describing this album as audible depression because of how dark and heartbreaking the album is. Malone’s newest EP is no different. With only nine tracks, vergangenheitsbewältigung, or “coping with the past” in english, packs a huge emotional punch in its short twenty-four minute run time.
The instrumentals off this EP are strangely beautiful. It can be so off-kilter yet comforting at the same time. For instance, the song “My feet’s tired (see page 108)” starts with this annoying high pitched feedback noise, but it seamlessly transitions into this very warm piano. Both the piano and guitar are utilized a lot throughout this EP. These instruments give off a very soothing feeling to each track. The song “THE MESSAGE 3: Blood (see page 39, 179, and Bye)” has this very peaceful guitar playing throughout the entire track. It matches very well with Malone’s emotional performance. Although these instrumentals are mostly soothing and relaxing, Malone does sprinkle in different sounds once in a while to spice things up. At random moments you can hear a glitchy voice or even a scream pop up. It helps add to the depressing tone of the EP.
Speaking of depressing, the subject matter is……a lot. This man is in pain and I hope he is getting some help. For the most part, Malone talks about his usual subject matter, but he always does it in a new and complicated way. The lyrics are so dense and it takes a lot of time to decipher. What I was able to get out of his lyrics is that this man has been in a very dark place. He wants to live a normal life, but he can’t escape the horrors that are plaguing him. No matter how hard he screams for help, he continues to feel trapped. Malones lyrics are matched with some painful performances.
One of Malones biggest improvements, from his debut album, is his ability to give an impactful performance. Since A Quiet Farwell is mostly instrumental, and the features were on the mic more than Malone, I didn’t really know what Malone was capable of vocally. Turns out, he is pretty moving. Malone tends to have this moany singing voice, which I don’t mind at all, but in this EP he seemed like he was breaking out of his shell. He is a lot more expressive. You can tell how broken he is by listening to him sing. “The Wake Pt. 3 & 2 (see page 87, 58, and 48)” and “THE MESSAGE 3: Blood (see page 39, 179, and Bye)” showcases these emotions on full display. These two tracks give me goosebumps. This is a huge improvement from what he was doing on his last project.
Overall, I think Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak) is a great companion piece to it’s older brother. This EP is practically A Quiet Farwell, but bite-size. If you are curious about Malone’s work I highly recommend this EP. I feel like this is a great gateway project to his material. I don’t think this EP is for everybody. It is a lot to take in, but I highly recommend it. It deserves a listen and who knows? Maybe it will resonate with you as it did for me.