Review: Slow Dawn ‘Into The Machine Haus’

Hey you. Yes you. Do you like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard? Have you wondered what that would sound like if they had a baby with Spaceman 3? And that infant was raised by The Velvet Underground and Bauhaus. Well, that child would be Slow Dawn.

Remember those carefree days as a teenager where you’d do illegal activities with your friends as they drove you around on an endless car ride? You wouldn’t trust them enough to allow them to join you on a science fair project but, somehow, you trust their driving abilities. Slow Dawn remembers.

Slow Dawn 'Into The Machine Haus'

Slow Dawn are an Ottawa, Canada based trio with Dan Druff on vocals, guitar, and loops; Jesse Winchester (who’s professionally known as ‘Iceman’) on bass and synthesizers, and Chris ‘Dr’ DiLauro on drums, percussion, and… sounds. With several self-released titles under their belt, they’ve been exploring and capturing the sound of being high off your gourd on psychedelics and being filled with angst.

Starting Into The Machine Haus is like entering an echo chamber inhabited by horror movie villains. Near Dawn kicks things off wondrously as the acid-soaked garage sound clashes with fuzzed-out echoing vocals, while the guitar bounces off drums until a weird jazz freak out ends the track and my head is spinning. On Ursula a light tapping of drums greets us and each instrument builds atop of them. The vocals are even denser with more echo than before. Each note is so sun baked and so preserved it sounds eternal. The bass really shines like a diamond here, it leads the song’s progression, and each distorted guitar and drumbeat strains to keep up.

The murky guitars on See Through take center stage while the playful drums bang away whilst having the time of their life. The vocals, delivered through an effect reminiscent of a metal fan, while Druff’s delirious lyrics go on indecipherably and I’m not going to embarrass myself by attempting to make out what he’s saying. It’s a fun as all heck track that makes me want to jump on a trampoline and play with friends with wooden swords. It’s not LARPing, it’s something else, something cooler. Okay, it’s LARPing.

Each note is so sun baked and so preserved it sounds eternal…

You’re The One is the shortest track and possibly the most chaotic. Each second jumps off the previous and refuses to build to where you assume it should. Some lyrics are easy to make out as the vocals are way less distorted. Maybe this was done to impress some crush. Maybe I’m that crush. Because I’m certainly swooning and it would be flattering. It ends really abruptly, and it’s left me feeling like I missed the last step in a stairwell. Or I know I’m not the crush as I come away defeated by that rejection.

The slower moving Gliding Things has a proto-punk feel. Every distortion pedal is cranked up so much it creates this mesmerizing effect that slowed my breathing. Chords melt into the vocals, and they get so mashed together until they fade away. The drumming really feels like Dr DiLauro is losing himself inside the track. Decompression feels like a not-too-distant relative of My Bloody Valentine. It’s a pretty chill affair that isn’t too shocking but simply decides to just be enjoyable. Also, I think I managed to actually make out a few words on this one.

Into The Machine Haus is a near twenty-three minutes and each listen drips with new things to discover and disappear within. I’m looking forward to exploring their discography further and hoping to see them live. I have to imagine I’ll break a rib or two and meet people who’d see an injury like that as a badge of honor.

Label: Cardinal Fuzz | Centripetal Force Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Richard Murray