Everything In Slow Motion (EISM) is the ever evolving hard rock- meets- post hardcore project of Shane Ochsner from North Dakota. Some might remember Ochsner from his former band ‘Hands’. After having released “Red”, an EP, and a full- length album “Phoenix”, Shane felt that it was time for a change. He challenged himself to work with new people and in new ways. He enlisted the help of J. Hall and Miles McPherson who are both from Nashville.
Ochsner wrote all the songs on an acoustic guitar, he says that that effected the way the melodies played out in his head. Ochsner said: “Screaming wouldn’t have made sense, the songs didn’t call for it this time around”.
Progressive Rock is the description that I read on the facebook page of EISM. I don’t think that that description covers it but it is a general description that gives you an idea what to expect.
First song ‘Coma’ is immediately recognisable as Everything In Slow Motion. It is a continuation of what we have heard on the former album “Phoenix”. This comes as no surprise off course because Shane mentioned that the song that he wrote were not fit for screaming. Raw driving riffs which are accompanied by the characteristic voice of Shane. He sings: “I hope you find what you are looking for”, well musically speaking, I just did….
‘Bad Season’ is a much calmer song, that is something that strikes me on this album, there is a lot less screaming and much more singing compared to “Phoenix”. This album is indeed more progressive rock than it’s predecessor where we heard more hardcore influences than on this album. And I think that is something that makes this album more suitable for a broad audience. Even my wife doesn’t matter if I play this album in the car, and she doesn’t like hard/metalcore at all….
Next song ‘I Am Laid Low’ has that dark edgy tone that fits in well with the lyrics. The lyrics are, as I understand it correctly, about the dark deep secrets that we all try to bury deep inside but they keep taunting you.
‘Runaway’ begins with a soft distorted guitar and builds up to the driving riffs that I mentioned before. The chorus has such a catchy melody that I just can’t get it out of my head. “There’s things I’ll never confess, I’ll never speak. So I run away. Afraid the pieces will fit, I resist and run away.” These are lyrics written by a honest man and I think that we all can relate to them in some way. Oh and by the way, I like the bass-tone in this song very much.
Last song ‘Capella’ begins with a menacing tone that is quickly supported by a clean monotone guitar that keeps on going through the whole song. It is true craftsmanship if you can write such a strong ballad with just a few accords. At two-third of the song, for a short moment, the drums are playing along. And then the clean guitar take over for the rest of the song and it slowly is fading out.
Conclusion: a very strong EP that is not limited to hardcore or rock or metal or whatever the label it is that you are into. It is just good music with honest lyrics and it is really worth the effort to take the time to check it out.
In the words of Facedown Records: “At its core, “Laid Low” is vintage EISM with an elegant shift into relaxed melodies and immersive vibes”.
Written by: René Woning
2. Bad Season
3. I Am Laid Low
All songs written and performed by: Shane Ochsner
Drums performed by: Miles McPherson
“Red” EP (2012)
“Laid Low” EP (2016)
Record Label: Facedown Records, April 2016
Video below: ‘Bad Season’
Video for ‘Coma’