What do you get when you combine four veteran Milwaukee musicians with a desire to play “loud and sleazy, fast and greasy” tunes? The Slurs. The quartet composed of three former Rust Belt Demons members and 1956 drummer Mike Mattner came together back in 2015. Since then, they’ve set out to “deliver straight-up rock and roll as it should be.” The band does just that in its soon-to-be-released debut album, Shatter Sessions. Even if it took them two attempts to nail it.
“This [album] was a long time in the making,” Mattner says. “We originally recorded these songs a few years back at a studio in Kenosha, but we sat on it for a while. We went back and listened to it and decided to throw it in the garbage. It didn’t sound like we were hoping. It was a costly decision”
Instead of settling for a record they didn’t like, The Slurs went back to the studio last year. This time around, Shane Hochstetler at Howl Street took a turn recording the rock and roll outfit. Needless to say, the band was much happier with the end result, and with good reason.
Pounding percussion, jagged guitar licks, and singer CJ Olson’s gruff voice immediately make a brash and memorable first impression on album-opener, “Mercy.” The rowdiness persists in subsequent songs like “Do What You Want” and “Trust No One,” both of which come equipped with punk-tinged riffs and harmonies to match. As shown by those songs and such standouts as “Blood And Alcohol” and “Slash Me,” The Slurs are a throwback to a simpler—and arguably better—era in music. Over the course of 10 raucous tracks (none of which manage to eclipse the four-minute mark), The Slurs prove that straightforward, meat and potatoes rock songs about drinks, drugs, and love on the rocks will never go out of style.
The Slurs will release Shatter Sessions on February 8 and will headline an album release show at Walker’s Point Music Hall on Saturday, February 9. FoWlMoUtH, Gramma, The Stink Lines, and DJ Han Cholo will play in support. The free (21+) show begins at 8 p.m. You can listen to Shatter Sessions in its entirety below.