Everything In Slowmotion – “Influence”


2020: what a year to be a touring musician! With some bands opting for the livestreaming route – with varied success – one can’t help wondering what the new year will bring. Will more venues close? Will album and merchandise sales keep bread on the table?

Influence​, released on 16 October 2020 by Facedown Records, is the second full-length album by Shane Ochsner’s musical project, Everything In Slow Motion. “Tell me all your feelings love / Put everything on me / The truth is what you say you want / But the truth you won’t believe” – the first lines from “Apollo” – are so heavy, and hold up a mirror not only to the individual’s own biases but to society at large. I’m reminded of how Steven Wilson invites us to observe his characters in that excellent Porcupine Tree album, Fear Of A Blank Planet​ ​, and some of that despair permeates Influence ​ ​too.

The title track, featuring Aaron Stone (lead singer and guitarist of My Epic​ ​) is a fiery rocker. My ear immediately goes to Brian Aubert, lead singer and guitarist of Silversun Pickups​ ​. Listen to “The Royal We”, off the grammy-nominated album, Swoon​ ​.

Everything In Slow Motion dial the dynamism up to 11 on “Satellite” where, when Shane screams “I’m over it / Over it / Over it” he’s really screaming it for all of us. That’s the beauty of Influence​; while intensely personal, one can easily relate to the lyrics. “Choke” speaks of disillusionment, and the tone set by the band is spot on. It’s sometimes difficult to put one’s finger on the genre of the music. I agree with Nao Lewandowski in her review of Influence​ ​ for HM Magazine, where she says that because Shane has guested on a number of recordings and because of his chosen collaborators, the album “encompasses an entire sub-universe of hard-rock and post-hardcore”. You can read her full review here:

“Something I Can Feel” features Crystal Rose, who adds soulful harmonies to a song that mourns the unwinding of a relationship. “Clementine” has a different musical sensibility, at times reminiscent of pop punk, but redeemed by the “Cherub Rock” guitar tones that buoy up the song. The emotional turmoil extends to “Taking Turns”, where the words “To love you is to get you out” has such a bitter and final ring to it. The guitar riff that starts “Tired Eyes” is sure to make it instantly recognisable, and the break that introduces the piano shows that the band are equally at home in hard rock and rock ballad.

Did you ever listen to the UK band, Mansun​ ​? If you’re familiar with their album, Six​ ​, you might draw a parallel with Everything In Slow Motion’s “Penny Wish”. The guitars are positively haunting, and when you hear the breakdown towards the end of the song, your jaw will drop.

Something that one notices is how the circle is completed by “End Of My Rope”, which features multi-instrumentalist Ric Todd. When Shane sings, “Let me lay my burden down at the end of my rope” it’s like it links with the lyrics to “Apollo” quoted at the beginning of this review.

While reflecting on “End Of My Rope”, I’m also reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:29-30: “​29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will30 find rest for your souls. ​For my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

Influence​ scores 9/10.​

Written by Karakul

Track List:
1. Apollo
2. Influence (feat. Aaron Stone) 
3. Satellite 
4. Choke 
5. Something I Can Feel (feat. Crystal Rose)
6. Clementine
7. Taking Turns
8. Tired Eyes
9. Penny Wish
10. End Of My Rope (feat. Ric Todd)

Band members:
Shane Ochsner (guitar, vocals)
Aaron Bickel (additional musician, live band)
Mychael Scott Reed (additional musician, live band)
Aaron Crawford (drums, live band)

Studio albums/EPs:
“Red” (EP, 2012)
“Phoenix” (full length, 2013)
“Laid Low” (EP, 2016)
“Influence” (full length, 2020)

Release Date: 16 Oct. 2020

Record label: Facedown Records

Weblinks: Facebook / Twitter / Website

Video (audio) for ‘Influence’ (feat. Aaron Stone of My Epic)

Video (audio) for ‘Choke’

Video for ‘Clementine’

Video (audio) for ‘Satellite’

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