Slightly Stoopid is:
Miles Doughty - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Kyle McDonald - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Ryan Moran- Drums
Oguer Ocon -Congas, Percussion, Harp, Vocals
Slightly Stoopid is not your ordinary band. In fact, chances are you havenít heard much about this band unless you are a fan of Sublime or you have seen them live as a supporting act. Stoopidís dual front men Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald were signed to Skunk Records by Sublime front man Bradley Nowell, while they were still in high school in 1995. Since their self-titled debut this band has improved and changed its sound with every album they have released. Closer to the Sun, their fifth effort is Slightly Stoopid at its pinnacle of sound, reached by fusing acoustic rock and blues with reggae, hip-hop, and punk. The album, which flows through a seamless mix of dubbed out funky blues, rock, and reggae, and a few clashes with old school punk, re-enlists production alumni and soundboard manipulators Miguel ( Sublime, Long Beach Dub, Unwritten Law, Skunk Records ), Philadelphonic/G-love & Special Sauce resident producer Chris D, and Dub Reggae legend (and King Tubby protťgť) Scientist for the follow up to 2003's Everything You Need . On to the albumÖ..
Slightly Stoopid starts this record off very well with the Intro track. This track gives a very laid-back vibe with a wonderful bass line and acoustic melody. The intro gives a great feel for the rest of the album, and I would suggest that if you arenít digging this you discontinue listening. On the other hand, if you do like what you hear I suggest you prepare yourself for a great listen, because you are in for a treat. The next track, Babylon Is Falling, one of my favorites off the album gets the laid-back flow going. For first time listeners this introduces you to the unique vocal style of Slightly Stoopid, which are somewhat mumbled, Jamaican-esque, and high-pitched. This song also contains a vibraphone in the background which really makes the song come together. The next song, Somebody, the albumsís first single is very upbeat and shows Stoopidís hip-hop influence with their scratching and sampling of an Olí Dirty Bastard song. Fat Spliffs is about one of the bandís other main influences, ganja. This song features an infectious bass line with some more solid acoustic work. Next up is Bandelero, and, although the lyrics are somewhat amusing they are also repetitive, which is one of the major downfalls of this album.
The band picks it back up with See It No Other Way, which includes guest appearances from reggae stars Barrington Levy and Mr. Mutton. Nothin Over Me shows yet another side of Slightly Stoopid. Though I feel this is another one of the weaker tracks on the album it portrays the punk/hardcore influences of the band. This Joint is another one of my favorites from this album. The vocals can barely be made out, but every here and there you can hear words such as smoking, cali, weed, and rolling it upÖ.you get the point. I love the deep, sloth-like bass line in this song, and the acoustic guitar sounds great here also. Older features some interesting lyrics about girls losing their virginity. The best part of this song is the guitar solo about half way through, and the organ at the end. Ainít Got A Lot of Money is another one of my favorites off this album, and could also serve somewhat as the bandís mission statement with lyrics like, ďI ainít got a lot of money, all I got is time and a reason to rhyme. I donít need a lot of money, all I need is you.Ē This song is very relaxing and the acoustic guitar solo in the middle is very cool also.
The next track, Till It Gets Wet, is a very entertaining listen mainly because of its lewd lyrics. This is another very chilled out relaxing song with some solid guitar work. Donít Care features Billy and Prof Most, two reggae singers whom Iíve never heard of. This song tends to wear on me due to its repetitiveness and the poor performances of the reggae singers featured in it. Basher starts out with a good drum beat, organ, and deep entrancing bass line. The guitar is great again here and reminds me of the song ďSteppiní RazorĒ by Sublime. Very solid instrumental track. Though not one of my favorite songs from this album, Righteous Man once again displays Stoopidís punk influences. This track starts off with a cool tribal drum beat and then some fast shredding. Up On A Plane is another of Slightly Stoopidís patented chill out songs. This would be my sleeper pick for the album, I really like the more subtle vocals and piano accents here.
Waiting starts off with a cool keyboard intro, and leads into some good reggae chords. The bass seems to be turned down here, which is something very rare for this band. This leads to the climax of the album, Closer to The Sun and Zeplike. These are easily my two favorites on this album, the latter of the two being my favorite. Both songs feature some of the most beautiful acoustic work Iíve ever heard. The first time I heard these songs I was really taken aback, and I realized that if I was ever skilled enough, I would strive to create songs exactly like these two. I feel these two songs really show what Kyle and Miles are capable of creating. Iím pretty sure the band was not expecting listeners to take the next song, Comb 4 My Dome, seriously. Although the acoustic guitar still sounds pretty good here, the lyrics are pointless. Open Road is a perfect track to end this album with. The piano at the end of this song really left me craving more and was a great way to end a wonderful song. There is also a groovy acoustic blues interlude at the last 1:45 of this track.
In essence, Slightly Stoopid is a very straight foreward and simple band. Though some may think of it as slightly too simple, this album is a breath of fresh air to me. Slightly Stoopid remain a group devoted to the pursuit of the perfect mix of lifestyle and sound. With Closer to the Sun, Slightly Stoopid has created a soundtrack to compliment their quest for the most crucial mix, and prove that hard work, perseverance and staying true to their roots is their path to creating genre-bending music with integrity. You should definitely at least download a couple tracks if you are interested in any of the following genres: reggae, acoustic blues, rock, hip-hop, dub, punk, etc. I canít promise that you will have a life altering experience after listening to this record, but one thing I can promise is that you will want to lay back and relax afterwards.
-Very relaxing stuff
-Great acoustic guitar work
-Excellent bass work
-Encompasses many different musical styles
-Lyrics are lacking and pointless at times
-Vocals can be a turn-off to some listeners
This is my first review hopefully someone out there finds it useful!