The Sloths have just released Back From the Grave in Europe via Eternal Sound Records. Who are The Sloths? You ask. What is a Sloth? You may ask. The Sloths were a garage rock band from Los Angeles, active for a short time in the mid sixties, playing covers of bands they loved such as The Yardbirds and The Rolling Stones. They played regularly on the LA scene and recorded their debut single Makin’ Love in 1965, a song reminiscent of The Rolling Stones‘ Not Fade Away and deemed too controversial for radio airplay back then, in the days before social media!
Whilst The Rolling Stones kept on rolling and didn’t fade away The Sloths disbanded in 1966 and had all but faded away until, several decades later, Mike Stax tracked down Jeff Briskin for an article he wanted to write in Ugly Things magazine. This led to the surviving Sloths reuniting and bringing in some newer Sloths! Read a more detailed biography here. Fitting name really, as a sloth is a slow moving mammal which spends it’s life hanging around! If that lifestyle suits you then they are currently recruiting a two-toed guitarist, or three-toed, I don’t suppose it matters how many toes, really, as long as you can play guitar!
I picked up lots of different elements some old, some new, some borrowed, some blue! The album opens with the driving beat of Never Enough Girls which reminded me of Motorcycle Man by The Cravats. For End of My Rope think of a line of some kind, think of line-dancing! Think something along the lines of The Black Crowes meet Billy Ray Cyrus, my Achy Breaky Heart is Jealous Again! Two great rock n roll numbers follow, both with a tinkle of the old ivories and a Little Richard vibe Everybodys Tryin 2 B Somebody a bit Good Golly Miss Molly whilst A Cutie Named Judy is more Tutti Frutti meets Turning Japanese by The Vapors and, whoever Judy is, she (according to the lyrics) ‘grabbed my willy and she squeezed real tight.’ Lyrics which should be banned? Unlikely today!
One Way Out with a country and western feel, starts a bit London Calling by The Clash, does a few ‘doughnuts in the dirt’ until it becomes more like a Tribute by Tenacious D. Lust a great rock n roll number. Gotta Get Fired a mellower number with some intricate riffage. Haunted with a Shadows flavour, think of the haunting melodies of Apache with some lyrics added. I think the strangest comparison I pulled out comes in Before I Die which had me thinking of The Runaway Train, a classic American ballad which has been recorded by many, the earliest I can find is Vernon Dalhart‘s version recorded in 1924!
Wanna New Life asks if you want a new life because you hate the one you’ve got? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Makin’ Love follows and if you’re still making love, after fifty years, then why would you as life is surely good! I mentioned this track earlier and it’s similarity to The Rolling Stones’ Not Fade Away. However, the album does fade away, with the last, and bonus, track I Survived 27, unlike some of the great names mentioned who didn’t make it beyond that age, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. May all rest in peace.
From the (quite frankly) weird and wonderful comparisons, think The Cravats and Vernon Dalhart to the just plain wonderful like The Rolling Stones and The Black Crowes there’s plenty of variety buried in here! Back From The Grave may have been fifty years in the making but good things are worth waiting for!
1. Never Enough Girls
2. End of My Rope
3. Everybodys Tryin 2 B Somebody
4. A Cutie Named Judy
5. One Way Out
7. Gotta Get Fired
9. Before I Die
10. Wanna New Life
11. Makin Love (50 Years Later)
12. “I Survived 27“ (Bonustrack)
lead vocals, harmonica
guitar, bass, backing vocals
The most recent lead guitarist was RUBEN de FUENTES but the situation is now vacant and open to offers!