Champion Motorist are back with Slight Return, their follow up to their debut mini-EP Divided. Each song on this EP was born in a long improvised jam session which has become somewhat of a trademark for the band. The improved jams were then stripped and deconstructed before being rebuilt into the tracks they are today. Focusing on a less is more approach for this EP, the band hits you with the raw essence of their sound.
Made up of Andrew McLaughlin (guitar) and Paul Shea (drums), the band looks to bombard you with some old school rock. The pair go back a long way and met while teenagers. However, they only started making music together under this moniker recently after two rehearsals left them with five new songs.
The EP starts with ‘Dear Liars’ which slowly builds up in the opening using soaring guitar notes and easy drumbeats. The increasing sound of the melody effortlessly flows into a melodic tone featuring the guitar. There is an easiness to this song that you sit back into and allow it to drive you where it wants to go. While you sit in this easiness, you can almost hear a conversation going on through the melody. The soft flow of the melody continues for the majority of the song before it gets a more atmospheric vibe to it with a slight undertone of aggression close to the end.
‘Bleed’ has a different vibe with some darker tones lurking in the guitar line. The drums don’t hit as much in the opening of this track, but they are there creeping around in the back. The melody has a sombre darkness that is just on the lighter side of sinister. The stripped-back feeling of the track lets you connect with the instruments in an interesting way as they flow through you. There is an increase in tempo and a thrust of sound later in the track that retains that creepiness.
The EP ends with the title track ‘Slight Return’ which has sound snippets in the opening. This combines with a sorrowful guitar line that sadly draws you into the song. The echoing notes of the guitar provide the emotions over the vocal snippets in the background and fill you with a sense of melancholy. When the drums hit, this changes a bit with some of the sadness being shed for something a little darker. As the song progresses, you are hit with more rock sounds that are almost a call out to listeners.
Champion Motorist hit you with a less is more approach on their epic three-track EP Slight Return. Each song has a stripped back melody, but this only highlights the power of the instruments. Through the guitar lines and beats, you are filled with a range of emotions.