When I first saw the Naked Giants’ frenetic shredding onstage a few months back, it felt like capturing lightning in a bottle. Their performance was youthful and wild like they were making it up as they went along and it just happened to come out perfectly. Their look was nostalgic, like 70s punk colliding with 90s grunge in one big mosh pit. Hailing from Seattle, the trio recently brought that same energy to SXSW, emerging as one of the most talked about bands of the festival. And likely we’ll keep hearing a lot more about them now that their anticipated debut album SLUFF has landed.
SLUFF moves like a wildfire, spreading flaming guitar riffs in every possible direction. It is loud and rambunctious, and you can almost imagine their recording sessions looking as uncaged and sweaty as their live sets. You can practically hear them jumping off the walls and slamming into each other as they burn through each song. Listening to SLUFF is like sifting through your favorite thrift store, gathering gems from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s and throwing them together in one cohesive and effortlessly cool look.
“TV” has retro swagger mixed with heavy hitting guitar, and “Everybody Thinks They Know (But No One Really Knows)” plays up a pop-punk sound with 60s beach rock drums. “Slow Dance II” is slinky and bluesy, and “Goldfish I” is trippy and fuzzed out. The album’s title track boasts one of its catchiest melodies, perfect for shouting “SLUFF!” along with the band should you get to a live show. And don’t miss the chance – these songs are best enjoyed thrashing into the people around you, your beer sloshing around from so much head-banging.