Garage T. Rashington III – Inauthentic Slop

 Garage T. Rashington III – Inauthentic Slop

Garage T. Rashington III – Inauthentic Slop – Album Review

Gather around the fire kiddies…lemme tell ya a story about a man that never was…

It was way past late on a windy night in Oregon and the bar had just belched the finality of its contents onto the street, sending its blur of passionate patrons spilling confused into the city.  I couldn’t tell ya the time, I just remember it being sometime in August of 2009…so like…yeah it was cold because it was basically morning at that point, but still warm because it was on the west coast and, you know, the fuzziness of alcohol factor.  Anyhow.  The weather isn’t really the important part of the story, nor is the time really…the alcohol…maybe.  As the people scattered into cabs they’d ordered, and started to command even more rides through a new app on their phones that was called Uber, the crowd naturally began to thin out.  Thirty-five became twenty, then twenty became ten, ten became five, and then finally, five became two – and that was the first time I ended up ever laying my eyes upon a man known as Garage T. Rashington III.  Waiting for the last of the cabs, I sat on the curb trying to light the end of a bent joint I had been crushing in my jacket pocket since circa 2005, using an old bic that had probably been purchased around the same time.  Wasn’t like me to not have smoked my whole stash whenever I had some, so I remember how miraculous it felt to even discover this doobie in my pocket after so very long.  Anyhow.  Flick, flick, flick – FUCK – nothing was happening with that lighter, and it seemed like this tiny pinner joint was indeed going to survive to live another day entirely un-smoked.  Then this dude in a massive fur coat that would have cost thousands when it was originally purchased but now had more holes in it than the proverbial block of Swiss cheese, did a half-dance/half pimp-strut on over to me with the fanciest lighter you’d ever seen already glowing with a flickering flame that gave his weathered face a devilish orange hue.  In the lowest of low tones, he whispered, “perhaps I can be of some assistance,” and stretched his bony arm out towards my shivering frame, lit the end of my greens, and flicked the casing of his lighter closed with a snap of his fingers as I stood there staring at this bizarrely huge giant that was grinning from ear to ear.  “Don’t mind if I do,” he said, plucking the joint from my fingers.  He took a massive pull on it that watched its length burn four fifths of the way through, and then handed me back what was left of the stub.  In behind him, a stretch limo started to pull up to the curb, seeming to expand for what must have been a whole city block as the windows kept on rolling by.  The weed was so dry in this ancient joint that it continued to burn up while I was holding it, and as quickly as I could, I hooted the rest of it in before it entirely disappeared.  The limo eventually came to a stop, and the man put his hands together while tapping the tips of his fingers with an obvious glee.  “Would you care to get in?” he asked, while exhaling the largest cloud of smoke you’d ever seen into the night air.  I shook my head no.  If I’m being entirely honest with you, it seemed like I would have been making some kind of deal with the devil himself, and I’m sure I must have visibly recoiled at the mere suggestion of taking a ride with this weirdo.  “Suit yourself,” the man said, and hopped into the back of the limo, turning the corner inside so as not to been seen again, waiting for the doorman to close the entrance behind him.  I looked at this vehicular man-servant and asked him who this guy was with my eyes bulging wide in awe.  Before the door could even close, the voice inside bellowed “Why, the name is Garage T. Rashington the third my good bitch – and don’t YOU forget it, ever.”  Then as he cackled like a super-villain, the portal of the door closed, and I was sure I’d heard the last of him forever.  I was so wrong.  In fact, he unrolled the window so that I could continue to hear his laughter as the limousine slow-rolled down the alleyway.

Years later I was on a fishing expedition in the heart of the Bering Sea, where it truly was colder than cold and I would have certainly traded being there for the warmth of some Portland wind.  I was knee-deep in guts and innards as the official bait-boy for the trip, leaving the more manlier men to do whatever it is that manly men do – I don’t fucking know what that is.  Anyhow.  So we’re all standing there, wind freezing our bones from the inside out when all of a sudden, we start to hear this music out of nowhere, drifting in on the ocean waves as they hurtle us back & forth.  Keep in mind, we’re literally nautical miles away from civilization at this point, the wind is howling, and it’s pretty much impossible to even hear the person five feet away from me – yet I can hear rock music being blasted?  How?  In what reality is that even possible?  At any given moment, it seemed like the swell of a giant wave could fully eat the boat I was standing on…so to hear anything pierce the shrieking of the wind was truly something else altogether.  Yet, I shit you not, that’s exactly what was happening.  I look out as the lights of another boat finally appeared in the distance, and the music sounded even louder than it did before.  On the bow of the boat…I’m tellin’ ya folks, I couldn’t make this up even if I tried, is this large giant figure, draped in a fur coat that is full of holes you could practically see through.  Like if you remember Aerosmith accepting awards at the Grammys and talking about how much it cost to look that cheap – that’s what I was staring at across the water, in full rockstar pose at the front of the vessel.  Playing like his life depended on it, was Garage T. Rashington III…singing out into the dead of the ocean like no one was even listening, and like none of us were even there.  We’re talking the full nine yards y’all…a whole bunch of amplifiers, strobe lights & shit…like his own world tour was making a scheduled stop in the middle of the ocean and everything was normal to him.  All of a sudden, there’s a break in the song…I’m not sure which one…I think it might have been “Dirtbag” now that I’ve had a chance to listen to the full debut album…this dude that I once met at random in a whole other state, years ago, turns to me and laughs out loud from across the water.   He’s like, way the fuck far away still, but I was close enough to see the white of his eyes staring right back at me, and of course in between the waves crashing, I could hear his voice as clear as day still.  “Buddy,” he yells at me…”you gotta hear my demo CD” – and no joke, starts throwing handfuls of discs like he was an Olympian, straight from one boat to another, sending most of these things straight into the ocean like a madman, but every like, fifteenth disc would come crashing to the ground around the crab pots we’d been pulling in all night long on the boat.  So I took one naturally & kept it in my pocket until I finished my job weeks later & went ashore to go back home.  That was when I listened to Garage T. Rashington III for the very first time, and it fucking blew my mind.

The third time I ran into him wasn’t nearly as exciting…it was actually kind of normal.  We were both standing outside of Trader Joe’s in Pennsylvania…which admittedly, was strange in the sense that we were both miles away from the last time we’d seen each other again, but it was now a regular occurrence to bump into each other, and we seemed to accept that.  “Hey man,” I said as I pushed my shopping cart towards the car I was driving.  “Hey man,” he said as he looked on.  “Did you ever get a chance to listen to that demo CD I chucked to you over the icy waters of the Pacific Ocean that night on the Bering Sea?”  At that point, this strangeness simply seemed normal to me, and I nodded my head in answer.  “Yes man,” I said.  “That was some fucking great shit dude.”  And I wasn’t lying – it really was.  I left him in that parking lot at Trader Joe’s back in like, 2017?  Haven’t seen him since – but I still have the record he made, and since blabbing about music is what I do, I figured it was about time I shared the full story on what I heard, and the undeniable genius of Garage T. Rashington III – the man that never was.

The reality is, it’s a debut unlike any other, and far from typical in the debut sense.  Like, you’d almost swear that the guy had been performing under a different name for years or something…he was clearly ready for the moment when it came to recording Inauthentic Slop, and it shows right away from track one.  No joke folks…Garage is one hell of a writer, and that dimension of his music is instantly revealed on “Super Sad” as the record kicks into gear over a combination regarding what hardships really are.  Is it modern convenience?  Is it self-indulgence?  Is it too much of everything, or not enough?  Should we all throw our phones into the trash heap of history and get our asses the fuck outside again?  Dare to have conversations?  Fuck that last part for sure.  What I loved about “Super Sad” can’t be described in mere words – and part of that is the point…the first forty seconds of this song and its instrumental intro is a huge draw on its own before a single word is even sung – it sounds ALIVE.  It’s a track with real swagger, style, and a fucking will to ROCK at its core with all kinds of frequencies and tones that will sear right through your speakers in all the right ways.  A king of contrast, Garage T. Rashington III gets loud, gets quiet, gets louder, backs off, surges forward, brings the jazz, brings the funk…and it all flows together so fluidly as you listen to this poetically designed conversation taking place within the lyricism that you actually have to spin this track several times to fully realize how much is really going on here.  Complexity that doesn’t FEEL that way, you dig?  I know I dig.  It’s like this wonderful madness comes entirely naturally to Garage…and that don’t make me “Super Sad” at all…it makes me SUPER HAPPY to find something as well thought-out as this is, with such impressive dedication to the details & storyline.

What I ain’t gonna do, is profess to have a complete bead on everything that Garage T. Rashington III’s zany mind is gonna write about throughout the course of this record…sometimes it’ll make sense to ya, sometimes it’ll be so far off the wall & outta left field that you’ll wonder how many joints he’s been smoking out of other people’s old coat pockets, and sometimes…just sometimes…you might even have a moment or two like I did, where it felt like he was living the same life I have been on “Lingering Lunch.”  Detailing the savage beating of a boy named Bruno during the lunch break whilst hangin’ round the schoolyard & the wild chase that ensues…I tell ya folks, this whole scenario seemed hauntingly familiar, and took me right back to my old junior high days.  We used to have this whole school-to-school rivalry where like, we had the ‘skids’ at ours, and they had the ‘homies’ at theirs, simply separated by the kinds of music we listened to and the ideologies that came with all that.  Looking back on it now, it was all crazy – and to hear something so remarkably similar to that scenario, bearing so much resemblance to the scene I saw at school one day…I suppose I could continue to explain, or you could just have a listen for yourselves like you should be.  It’s quite the adventure y’all…like I was tellin’ ya, Garage is capable of really wild songwriting.  “Lingering Lunch” is staggered, jagged, anxiety inducing, and wildly descriptive to the point where it feels like you’ve lived this story.  At least that’s what it felt like to me.  *winky face

Guy’s lyrics are without a doubt his main asset to a large degree, but make no mistake, you don’t wanna get caught sleepin’ on the musicianship you’ll find on this record either – Garage T. can PLAY y’all.  Listen to “Dirtbag” and you’ll appreciate just how innovative this cat is in the way he writes his tunes.  There’s not a whole hell of a lot that I feel like it can be compared to…it’s heavily compositional stuff, let’s put it that way…and you don’t often come across the level of effort you find in the songwriting of Inauthentic Slop out there in the world these days.  Does that make it designed for the masses?  Fuck no – probably not…but again…picture this dude on the bow of a big giant boat in the middle of the Bering Sea rocking out like he’s playing for an audience the size of the Super Bowl, and you gotta imagine that he probably doesn’t give all that much of a flying fuck about any of that.  If you dig it, you dig it, if you don’t, you don’t – “right, wrong, whatever,” Garage T. R. III is gonna do what Garage T. R. III does whether you like it or not.  “Dirtbag” is like a gritty-ass love song for the new millennium…pay attention young bucks.  It’s equal parts beautiful, deceptively honest, and direct to a shocking degree…love the definition of the bass in this tune, love the gnarly guitar tones, wild drums, and the cleverness of the backing vocals too.

LISTENING to the VENOM in this dude’s voice as he sings “so where’s my trophy” on “Pig Fat And Sugar” is straight-up AWESOME.  From what I gather, this track is basically about the grind of the working man – chances are you know him, or you are him yourself…he’s the dude that walks the straight & narrow, and does his best to get by without causing anyone any grief, towing the line.  Yet they do NOT give out any trophies for that, now do they folks?  That’s a fucking shame if you ask me…living a GOOD LIFE is NOT AT ALL AN EASY THING…so where ARE these trophies?  When they say nice guys finish last, this is basically what they mean…you don’t get recognized for being a decent dude or dudette…you get rewarded with another day and the day after that, and you probably won’t ever have to prepare a single acceptance speech in your entire life.  “Pig Fat And Sugar” is going to be one of my favorite songs of 2023 without a doubt…not only is it absolutely KILLER to listen to with how warped it feels, how precise and deliberate the vocals are, in addition to the stunningly accurate nature of the lyricism – but this whole concept & idea is so goddamn next level that the only thing that rivals it is in the performance itself.  You want commitment & execution?  Listen to “Pig Fat And Sugar” – that’s what it sounds like.  This song SHOULD and WILL cling to the marrow of your bones…and somehow inspire you to rebel against the realities it highlights in whatever ways that you can.  Go steal something kiddies…no one’s really looking anyway…if you’re looking for that trophy in life, do everything the opposite of what you hear in “Pig Fat And Sugar” – our world rewards liars, cheats, thieves, and pimps…go be one of those instead and you’ll discover the keys to happiness in the modern day era.  I fucking LOVE this song, 100%.

LOOK.  Songs like “Pig Fat And Sugar” come along about one in a lifetime if you’re truly lucky to have such a stroke of artistic genius mesh with brutal reality…and anything that came afterwards was going to have a fucking TOUGH TIME keeping up to that level of undeniable magnificence.  “Choirmaster Greg” does a great job of doing the best it can to fill that hole…but I’ll be real with ya and say that I’m not sure that there IS anything could have followed the previous cut.  Love the way this song moves around the one-minute mark…Garage has written a sonic masterpiece of melody in the way that part works.  I have my moments with this guy where I’m like, okay – just do THAT for a moment yo…you don’t NEED to go bangin’ on them drums again quite so soon, do you bruh?  But he does, and he will – that’s who Garage really is at his core…a maniacal musical madman that will roam and rage through more ideas than the vast majority of you will ever have, all within a single song like “Choirmaster Greg.”  Would most folks out there spread their shit out and exploit their ideas until you couldn’t mine a single ounce more out of’em?  You fuckin’ bet they would.  As for Garage?  He’ll beam out badassery and ideas in seconds that most artists would build entire songs around, and do it like it’s something he could do all damn day.  In fact, I’ve got it on good authority that he DOES.  All I can tell ya is this…what occurs in between 1:00-1:15 of this song, is so damn cool that YES I wanted a whole lot more of it – TONS…yet nary did I get.  “Choirmaster Greg” is like…about the last show being played on earth on the day the music died?  I think?  This ain’t no “American Pie” though y’all…it’s like the Tenacious D version of that…an epic tale of “Choirmaster Greg” rocking the planet so damn hard until the planet has no choice but to defend itself from being rocked.  So yes, the music dies, but not gently like a McLean tune…in a fireball of kickassery.

“An Acute And Honest Appraisal Of Me,” is exactly what its title implies.  Humble AF really.  Not based in any kind of hyperbole as far as I can tell…this is basically what you would assume Garage T. Rashington III would be like if you were lucky enough to know him, which you’re not.  He’s another dude with no asshole like Kim Jong…he never misses a putt in golf like Trump…he’s created every hit song you’ve ever heard like Puff Daddy – and if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to cross paths with Garage for even a single moment, that’s the only time your life had any real significant meaning.  No trophies for you.  “I am the best there ever was and ever will be,” as he sings…and he ain’t wrong.  I’ve been trying to explain how y’ain’t ever gonna be as cool as G T. R III, he’s “better than you and that’s a fact” – and if this song doesn’t prove it, I’m not sure any other could.  “If you disagree you are mistaken.”  Get some knowledge straight from the source y’all…I could quote from this song all day long and obviously I agree with every single thing Garage is singing about here…so do yourselves a favor and learn about the man’s legendary awesomeness through this slice of endearing humbleness he’s created for you.  It’s ACUTE y’all – and it’s a good thing it is, given your attention spans are so embarrassingly short…if he wasn’t as humble as he is, this would be OBTUSE & the song would be fourteen & a half-hours long like it probably SHOULD be.

“My Own Self” is an interesting cut on the record that actually has a ton in common with the roots of Rock from the golden age…think like…how your parents were out there twisting and shouting on the ballroom dance-floors years ago, or the tunes Marty McFly was playing before his fingers disappeared.  It’s not that of course, but it’s a closely related cousin if you’re listening to the fundamentals at its core.  Almost like a track that would belong in an updated version of something like West Side Story, or maybe even something like a lot less hateable version of Grease…you get the idea – it’s actually an old-school cut that’s masquerading as more modern than most would realize it isn’t.  Anyhow…I dig it…it’s got a lot of theatrical elements to it, even some sing-along moments too…both qualities I generally tend to run away screaming from in the opposite direction, but through the bizarre cracked, kaleidoscopic lens of our good friend Garage T. Rashington III, there’s artistic merit to it & hooks I can readily get behind.  Plus, I’ve certainly had the kind of days being described in “My Own Self” too…so maybe it’s the purity of empathy that’s got me on board here.  In any event, it rocks solidly, and the quality is as consistent as it has been throughout this whole record; Garage had a vision & smartly played within it on this album.

Finally, some honesty.  T. Rashington III spells it out like it really is, and explains that “Your Politics” suck.  Which, they probably do.  I haven’t met most of you, but there sure are a whole lot of people out there these days with misguided minds that have been muddled into a maze of mistruths and dopamine inducing lies to snack on.  While I clearly wish you didn’t enjoy it all as much as you do, I’ve long given up trying to change anyone’s mind with mere facts…we’re all well-beyond that now at this point, you know?  “Your Politics” is a gentle reminder of how shitty we’ve become, yet also points out the fact that we still just wanna love each other too.  While that’s basically now become impossible for any rational thinkers that are left out there, the concept is still beautifully nostalgic – I miss those days and I’m sure that at least a handful of you do too.  As the people you used to hang out with run through the streets yelling FREEDOM, or chat about oppression on 4chan while they simultaneously masterbate & shop online, you can now listen to “Your Politics” and dream about how things used to be when idiocy wasn’t nearly so damn prevalent.

Excellent musicianship to be found on “The Parking Lot,” the finale of Inauthentic Slop, which admittedly, has essentially been anything but – it’ll be extremely rare for you to find anything out there with this tangible degree of authenticity.  JUST MORE OF THAT SLY-ASS HUMOR FROM OUR BOY GARAGE T. RASHINGTON III y’all…I’m sure you’ve picked up on a bit of that by now.  “The Parking Lot” is a neat track that…I think is about a specific location that Garage has quite often frequented in his misspent youth?  It could be a stalker’s anthem too…though it seems more sweet than sadistic to be fair.  Maybe it’s as simple as being an ode to a really kickass parking spot that he could always rely on – we’ve all gotta write about something, right?  It’s “not just any parking lot” mind you…but as to what the specific attraction is for Mr. T. Rashington III, that’s still mired in a bit of mystery we might never get to the bottom of…and that’s OKAY – we’re not meant to get every little detail inside of every single song we’ll ever listen to, so calm your tits.  As far as I know, I don’t currently have ANY songs about parking lots, so you can imagine how jazzed I was to add this to my archives…check THAT item off the ol’ bucket list y’all.  To be real with ya though…”The Parking Lot” was exceptional, and a stellar ending to what’s been the most unique record I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in 2023 so far – I know it’s early, but I feel like this is gonna hold up strong throughout the year and raise the bar for what different is really supposed to sound like.  We might never fully solve the mystery of who this man is or what he’s all about, we might only cross paths briefly on the streets or in the middle of the ocean at random throughout the years – some of this may have happened, or maybe none of it did…but this record proves that in some way, shape, or form, Garage T. Rashington III is out there, alive, and rocking the fuck right out like the legend he is.  Long may you run my bizarre brother of all-things-awesome.  I need another chapter of whatever this is, and another record from this guy one day – Inauthentic Slop is unforgettable & sincerely brilliant.

Listen to more Inauthentic Slop by Garage T. Rashington III at YouTube here:

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