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8:15pm

Slimfit  

     

    Free to VIP Badge Holders | $10 for Regular Badge Holders and Weekend Wristbands | $18 adv/$22 DOS without Badge/Wristband

    Lancaster, PA, is a town where farmers share roadways with punk rockers; where a new convention center juts from a landscape of cornfields; where the nation’s oldest farmers market, an opera house, and a rock club frequented by rock and roll heavyweights all lie within a two-block radius. It’s also where the members of Slimfit forged lifelong friendships and learned to love the dichotomy of their hometown that now infuses their music.
     
    On paper, Slimfit would seem to live in two worlds, divided between the modern and the nostalgic. But on tape, their music flows as smoothly as the sweet Susquehanna River that meanders through the lyrics of so many of their songs.
     
    On one hand, the members of Slimfit pledge their allegiance to all things dusty, rusty and unadorned—an aesthetic that shows their affinity for the music of Tom Petty, Gram Parsons and Steve Earle, whose lonely narratives, indelible melodies and unembellished meat-and-potatoes rock songs echo throughout Slimfit’s catalog. What it doesn’t account for is their love for iPhone apps and old Bad Religion albums. Twitter updates and microbrews. Dinosaur Jr guitar heroics and Aziz Ansari stand-up bits. These are the elements that keep Slimfit’s music engaging even for music lovers who normally don’t get within 100 feet of anything twangy. And never have they been on fuller display than on the band’s latest album, The Path, the follow-up to 2008’s acclaimed Make It Worse.
     
    In between pastoral ballads and country romps, the band immerses itself in the rock side of alt-country, meandering its way through arena-worthy chorus hooks, ebullient E Street guitar leads, four-part vocal arrangements and some straight-up, blistering, raw Crazy Horse riffage – and that’s all on the first track.

    The Path certainly captures more of our rock and roll leanings and less of our country ones,” admits guitarist Patrick Kirchner. “Even with the edgier sound, though, I think the same musical undercurrent runs through the songs. Call it earth or dirt or twang or whatever. It’s just honest songwriting. And it’s always been at the heart of Slimfit.”
     
    Lyrically, frontman Joey McMonagle sorts through the remnants and keepsakes of relationships, be they with friends, lovers, God or his own ideologies. “Pretty much all the songs stack up to address the path of the human condition,” Kirchner notes, “all the struggles and fears and hopes and unknowns that lie in trying to traverse the right path or avoid the wrong one.”
     
    The Path comes on the heels of Slimfit’s debut album,Make It Worse, which drew praise from across the musical spectrum, from tastemaking rock stations like WXPN (“Slimfit has created a great new sound”) to pop culture hubs like Pop Matters (“All the best elements of that thing called alt-country, wrapped up in one gorgeously orchestrated, irresistibly catchy tune”), from American press to an alarming amount of overseas outlets, thanks in particular to the ever effusive Dutch. Ze houden Slimfit!
     
    But critical praise was never really the goal here. For these longtime blood brothers, the process of writing, recording and performing music just rolls out of their friendship. It’s a way of figuring out their place in life, as rock and roll lifers in a small Pennsylvania town; as beer-swilling boys with real jobs, wives and children; as grown-ass men apt to cut it loose as if they were half their ages—as most of them were when they first met. They’re going to figure it out together, and damned if they’re not going to have fun doing it.
     
    “The way we write songs and the way we interact is a testament to our friendship,” McMonagle says. “I can’t imagine being in a band where we’re not all best friends."
     
    That’s one Path truly worth following.


    Type Music
    Genre Alt Country/Roots/Americana
    Tags All Ages
 

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