If it can be said that bands are primarily built from collections of experiences and influences, then the guys in Chattanooga rock outfit Sleazy Sleazy must have already seen and done some pretty crazy stuff. Their sound is a massive anthology of classic rock, blues and indie rock aesthetics, with the band picking and choosing what suits them best from each genre to create a towering rock presence. And while the likelihood of a rock-centric imbalance is always possible, they manage to maneuver around these pitfalls with a practiced ease.
The band is constructed around the imposing talents of Austin Armstrong, Ryan Labor, Ben Herrmann and Taylor Nelson, a group of local musicians who have been cycling through Chattanooga’s music scene for quite some time. And with the formation of Sleazy Sleazy, the four have combined to form a kind of gritty, hard rock Voltron, with each member building their respective abilities on the strengths of their bandmates.
On their new single, “Feel It Sinking In,” they channel a loose and roughed-up rock sound, finding new and refreshing ways to explore these familiar rhythms. It feels like it could have been released in the mid-’70s, filled with terse melodic movements but also making use of a foundation that feels a bit more like America fronting Deep Purple. And it’s in this wonderful rock revision that the band finds a truly insular sound. Buoyed by driving guitars, chest-rattling percussion and powerful vocals, the song is a big, booming cacophony that still never forgets to back off at times to allow the latent melodies to bring some lightness into the music.
But “Feel It Sinking In” is a classic rock song, first and foremost, and in that, it’s an unqualified success. The band doesn’t evoke the sounds of their influences so much as they completely remake them in their own image. They aren’t afraid to embrace the blatant rock qualities of their work and find that, in doing so, they open up whole new landscapes in which to play around with these specific rhythms. And while the band has only the bare minimum when it comes to releases, they’ve already proven themselves worthy descendants of their hard rock ancestors.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.