When Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald formed Slightly Stoopid in 1994, they were just two kids from California trying to create something unique. It’s hard to imagine that they could have predicted the success that would come of this grand experiment. Having now spawned 24 years and 13 albums, Slightly Stoopid’s career has exceeded all expectations. They have managed to stay relevant longer than most groups, mostly due to their unique sound and pool of influences. Their sound has never sounded stale and their ambition has never been stagnant. Perhaps this is why “Everyday Life, Everyday People” struggles to capture the listener’s attention.
The album starts strong with the song “Glocks”. This bombastic jam begins with an encompassing and catchy synth line paired with some tight sounding reggae drums. This intro sucks the listener in fast before the song explodes with an array of horns and a guitar solo. While the chord progression stays simple, the nuanced and staggered nature of the song allows for that to work just fine. While this track starts the album with a bang, the tracks that follow it really do not follow suit. “Stay the Same (Prayer for You)”, “Fire Below”, and “Too Late” all lack the dynamic excitement of the opener and ultimately represent the downfall of this record. A group that was once described as “a fusion of folk, rock, reggae, and blues with hip-hop, funk, metal and punk”, has become an incredibly predictable pop-reggae oriented group. While there’s not anything too egregious about this, it hardly is the ingredients of a standout project. Most of the songs on this record sound completely uninspired and ultimately like background music.
Outliers include cuts like “Punisher” and “Everyday People”. Both tracks see the group embracing a more menacing attitude towards the world. “Punisher” really is a crazy contradiction of a song. The instrumental is quite possibly one of the most relaxed on the entire record, but the vocal performance mirrors something out of a Rage Against the Machine song. Expletive words and aggressive articulation really drive McDonald’s point home. The latter of these two songs sees a very old-fashioned hip-hop vibe coming to life. The more conceptual lyrics and simplistic beat ultimately make this song stick out from the rest of the track list. Still, these songs are too little too late. The monotony of this album really begins to take a toll on the listener and ultimately makes this album a slog to get through. While it is certainly not without its moments, “Everyday Life, Everyday People” fails to deliver on the versatility and promise of the group that constructed it.
See our previous review of their live show, here.