Sound: It might be tempting to lump Ocean Beach's Slightly Stoopid in with a myriad of, for lack of a better description, stoner bands, but you'd be completely missing a key point: this is a group of incredibly creative and capable musicians. Slightly Stoopid was undeniably was given a boost when the late/great Bradley Nowell signed the band to his label, Skunk Records, back in the mid 1990s, and there are several songs that do feel like an extension of Sublime's music. But their latest album Slightly Not Stoned Enough To Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid, which contains songs from a 1995 EP of the same name, also features several new songs that are centered around impressive arrangements and diverse musical styles.
Yes, Slightly Stoopid loves to sing about marijuana. Let's get that out of the way. You might not necessarily be able to understand every lyric sung due to the laid-back, quiet vocal delivery at times, but it's usually the instrumentation that ends up taking the center stage in any case. If you already own the 1995 EP, then you are aware that Slightly Stoopid can do wonders with an acoustic on songs like Train and Thinkin Bout Cops. Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald deliver some of the most impressive lines with an acoustic, fluctuating between a folk rock sound to reggae to funk.
There are some rarities and outtakes, but you also get the new tracks No Cocaine, Fruits (Legalize Them), and Circle House Blues. In several sections of No Cocaine, a keyboard (cued up to sound much like an organ in church) carries the track, all the while we hear how Mary Jane is the vocalist's true love. The Fruits, a track that calls for the legalization of marijuana, at times does relay a Sublime-like sound. Slightly Stoopid steps out of the neo-reggae zone in Circle House Blues, a funky, bluesy instrumental that feels like it could fit nicely in a Quentin Tarantino film.
Other highlights on the CD are Digital and Foreign Land, two tracks that are pretty much night and day in terms of their styles. As might be expected, Digital includes a synth beat that starts everything off, with bass and guitar lines quietly entering the picture. It's still very much a reggae-influenced track (particularly in the vocal delivery), but the programmed beats gives it almost an R&B feel at times. Foreign Land combines reggae with a Latin sound, undoubtedly enhanced by the horn section. Like the band's past albums, there is an extremely long playlist on Slightly Not Stoned Enough To Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid, The band is able to shape a completely unique experience with each of the tracks, and even more impressive is the complex arrangements. // 9
Lyrics: Slightly Stoopid posted a news item on its website that included a sentence was a fairly good introduction/declaration. It read, Roll up a phatty and enjoy! The album is absolutely marketed to a particular crowd, and the lyrics follow suit. There is definitely a good deal of drug-themed songs, but honestly the music is so good that the lyrics often become secondary. And to be fair, there are some songs that don't revolve around drugs. However, if you are truly offended by the subject of marijuana, then Slightly Stoopid is definitely not the band for you. // 8
Overall Impression: If you're a fan of Sublime or even old school reggae, Slightly Stoopid's latest album is something you need to buy. With 6 members, they are able to relay an incredibly rich sound, complete with horns, keys, and some truly amazing acoustic work. It's not a completely unfamiliar album, thanks to the outtakes and rarities that many a fan probably already owns. The new tracks are definitely highlights among the playlist, although ever song is impressive. Just from listening to the album you sense that this is a band that would put on an incredible live show, and not every group is able to relay that kind of feeling in the studio setting. // 9