Schlotman, On A Rope

Michael Brummett

Photo by Tess Ryan

Background

Schlotman is a collective that originated as a cross-coastal recording project. Bringing together former members of WAG (DR Records) and Kal Marks (Exploding in Sound). Now, the outfit calls San Francisco home, taking growth in stride as they evolve past their modest 4-track beginnings. These guys know their stage, but still make a handful of quips:

“We are a band that is usually loud but also sometimes quiet.”

-Schlotman on their Bandcamp bio

 

Even Schlotman’s demo tapes were interesting, released back in late December of 2014. It seems the group is into foreign policy, too, with tracks like “Trade Relations in Declining America” on A Snake Is Not A Rope (demos). Going back to their initial recordings, after listening to their new release, On A Rope (these dudes just love ropes), their early stuff is certainly a demo, and today’s work is fantastic.

We believe them when they say their demo tapes were “recorded live to a 4-track tape . . . in a very cold basement.” If you’re into bay area drama on 7″ vinyl, then Schlotman’s got the goods, with “Oakland” from March of 2016, as well.

These realists — true indie basement grunge gods — are fun to listen to.

Easily transitioning between aggressive guitar hooks and delicate melodies in a matter of seconds, Schlotman is as memorable as they come. I personally love Dog Save The Scene (play on God save the Queen, eh?) which you can find on their Bandcamp if you’re compelled to hear more than “Hard Bodies”.

Verdict

Schlotman has a new project soon to be released, and IMPOSE Magazine got an early listen in. On A Rope comes out early Spring/late Winter of this year, in a 5-track upgrade from their past works.

“Instrument” [3:57] puts on full display their increasingly characteristic transition between intensity and caring. Honestly this one is enough to convince most listeners to join their secret club.

“Holy Basil” [3:10] is lyrically interesting, to say the least. It passes rather quickly, without even noticing the song is halfway over — that could be good or bad. However, the guitar play around 2/3rd through the song is a fantastic chime leading into a runway of intensity that is always appreciated.

“Porch” [2:34] at first is confusing (lyrically) but vocally beautiful. Highs and lows on guitar plays out what ends up just being a great story.

“Oat Bath” [3:22] is super grunge at its finest. This one might have been recorded in a basement, we didn’t double check.

“Listener” [1:54] tests whether or not you’re actually paying attention or able to digest the sentiment. Definitely the shortest ride out of the bunch, it doesn’t quite pack the kind of punch we want out of a closer track, especially when we enjoyed it as much as we did.

Ultimately, we loved being introduced to Schlotman. If you can’t wait for On A Rope to come out, indulge in and obsess over Dog Save The Scene, which you can check out right nowOn A Rope was objectively awesome, and a perfect way to welcome in the weekend. I wish there was more to listen to. 4/5.

Support

Schlotman is a cross-coastal outfit, so obviously they are all over the place digitally:

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