Award-winning San Diego Alternative Prog Rock Band Sluka are a band that we have covered here before and Sluka deserves to get covered every single time due to how great they are. Since we last checked in with the band, they are now fresh off being voted Best Band of San Diego for the second year in a row. They also just released their album “Figure It Out” which I am insanely hyped up on and I can’t get enough of it.
The album dropped on October 1st and I actually had the band saved on my own Spotify because I was ready to see what came next from the last time I checked them out and wrote a review. They haven’t let me down and I know that this will be a theme ongoing for Sluka.
So, what is it that made me love them from the jump? Sluka are known for their big, sometimes orchestral compositions, epic music videos and philosophical lyricism, and it’s all on a deeper level. From the band themselves, Sluka explains that their music “explores the human condition in truly theatrical fashion. Equal swaths of post-punk, alternative/indie rock, prog rock, classical and baroque pop, Sluka’s sound is bold, challenging and one of a kind.”
“Figure It Out” was also produced by Grammy-winner Alan Sanderson (Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Rolling Stones) at local Pacific Beat Recording Studio. I really think that this helps as well. Personally, I’m an artist too and when you have a producer that knows exactly what to do and how to help, it just overall makes the process and the final product something that is down right incredible. Truly, they have done that here with this band and album as well. As stated, all of the songs are just ear worms that I can’t and don’t want to get out of my head.
The accompanying video for “Figure It Out” surpassed 1 million views on YouTube in less than a week as well which is an insanely incredible feat that isn’t done very often at all. Sluka should really be celebrated for this as well because it’s like winning the Olympics.
I always knew that Sluka would totally kill it and they have proved me right. To be able to say a million anything is truly insane to say as an artist because of the cut throat style of the industry, so good on them.
I can promise that Sluka will continue to go up and keep making this trajectory move in an upward motion because of all of the traction that is already going the way of them and that’s just amazing to see and I am extremely thankful that this band showed up on my radar because they have easily become a favorite of mine.
I guess you can say that I listened to them “before the rest of the world thought they were cool” and it’s awesome to see the growth and maintaining of upward trajectory. Do a favor to yourself and stream the record. You will not be let down at all and this I promise you.
The album starts out with an amazing orchestral arrangement called ‘Figure It Out’ that just keeps getting better with each passing second. It starts off really cinematic and then hits a happy note as we then travel up and up in terms of feeling. The vocals come in and remind me of shades of The Beatles. The vocals by the end are a landscape of warmth and delight.
‘Isn’t It Strange’ is the next piece and it keeps the orchestral theme going with a James Bond like influence. The vocals here are smooth and smoky and really fit the dynamic here as I am still getting some Beatles influence here, but mainly on the chorus and bridge work. The music goes from mysterious to happy in the blink of an eye which is a nod to Sluka’s work.
The third track is ‘Shout It Out’. The pace of this is very 80s oriented and I love that. A synth starts us out here. The vocals here are the strongest yet in terms of projection. This reminds me of a song that Queen could have written. Amazing work here and this is currently my favorite track thus far.
The next track is ‘Feel The Weight’. Off the bat, and probably only due to the chords used, but I get a feeling of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. I really love the direction of this track as the vocal work here really shows just how good it can get as the vocals weave in and out. The piano and guitar are stars here.
Next, we have ‘Vye on Vyattav’. The delayed guitar here draws you in very quickly. Everything starts to speed up with the guitar and everything then comes together like a warm soup of greatness. The vocals here are mainly pushed back in a dreamy way. If you like Smashing Pumpkins style vocals, you’ll enjoy this one.
After that, we have ‘The Runner’. This starts with some old school vocal effects that make it seem like a very old time hymn. Then, synth kicks in and brings us back to 2021. The vocals are all layered up here and sound great. The synth carries this track and I love how Sluka uses the synth here. Really a great track here. My new favorite thus far. Great vocal harmonies too.
‘What Else’ is the next track and starts off pretty happy. There’s something very nostalgic about this one. The work here is more simplistic than the other tracks so far, but that’s actually perfect due to showing off just how dynamic Sluka can be.
The second to last track ‘SOS’ makes me feel like I’m in an action movie jumping out of planes and hopping into fast cars. This track would be awesome to drive to. Experimental is the perfect word for this track as it’s so different in composition. This is really cool if you like a very cool and laid back vibe while still feeling like ruling the world.
Lastly, we have ‘Happy In Your World’, this starts off just as I feel an ender should start. The piano is beautiful and is telling us that this journey is over. What more is there? Nothing. What more can we ask for? Nothing. Sluka comes in with their voice calm and collected, yet concerned. This sounds like another track that Queen could have written and it would have been a hit. The track starts slow and then speeds up and ends huge. Truly a memorable closer.
So often, people want to find a and that strikes a chord and this band strikes many of them. From the work on lyrics to the work on the rhythm of everything, it’s as perfect as it can get and I hope that you also follow them as well to keep up with what they will pull off next.