Garage T. Rashington III – Thick Slop

 Garage T. Rashington III – Thick Slop

Garage T. Rashington III – Thick Slop – Album Review

I always try to think of a unique way to review the music of Garage T. Rashington III, because…well – let’s be real here, he’s one of the most unique artists you can find in any corner of this music scene we share.  I thought about removing all the As from the article, because I thought that would be A-musing.  I thought about writing this in binary code as an endless string of 0s and 1s.  At the end of the day, even though I know I would have enjoyed doing these things on a personal level to satisfy my own creative artistry, I still have you, my beloved audience of eight readers to consider.  You come here for the cold hard facts…the objective reality of realer than real information…and so that, is what I will give to you.

Beginning with “Scarecrow In A Rainstorm,” Thick Slop starts with a song built entirely around the concept of some frat-bro running a farm and pretending to be a friend to a lowly scarecrow, for what sounds like years and years of intentional deception.  That’s just the thing right…you spend the majority of your time on Earth never moving an inch from your assigned post, and the minute you get out of line, BIG CORN is after you, trying to put you back on the pole.  It doesn’t completely surprise me that the likes of Garage T. Rashington III is shilling for the corporate affections of BIG CORN – we’re all got bills to pay and he’s a proven musical mercenary/whore for them corn dollars.  While this story might appear somewhat disgusting to you or I, I must give credit where credit is due – he explains his side of the story well, with the scarecrow out there leaving the crops of BIG CORN unattended to be vandalized as he chases the ill-conceived notions of friendships and freedom.  It’s like, hey scarecrow – if I don’t get these kind of luxuries in life, why should you, am I right?  Dude belongs out in the rain if you ask me…soak up the sweet sweet misery of life.  If you wanna be like everybody else, I figure you should be entitled to the same damn experiences and lunchbag letdowns as the rest of us meat-sacks.  Anyhow.  Beyond that, I really do enjoy the way “Scarecrow In A Rainstorm” sounds…it’s like Garage’s own answer to the question of what would it sound like if Lynard Skynard stopped playing “Freebird” and started playing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns & Roses instead, but I hold neither of these things against him.  Quite honestly, it sounds really damn good, but that is to be kept between you & I…I don’t want him knowing how I feel about “Scarecrow In A Rainstorm,” lest he’ll just go on and on and on making more music.  To be real though, the guy sings this one brilliantly, and the guitars add accessibility that’s beyond compare.

Are these intros grandiose or what?  Like an insightful Skynard fan once yelled appropriately in the middle of just about every song they ever played, “get to the fucking chorus!” – like, damn.  So…yeah…I mean, the writing on this album is quite surprising if you ask me.  You always hope the artists and bands you like and listen to line up with similar ideals to the ones you have yourself, but alas, that’s not always the case.  Some folks are just jerks, like this guy Garage here, who goes on to prove that to ya in one of the most judgmental tracks you’ll hear this year, called “Looks.”  Like, this whole song is about how other people aren’t looking at him with what the king seems to deem would be a considered amount of reverence.  And so he judges.  He judges their faces and the “Looks” the give him, which he clearly feels are unsatisfactory.  A judgmental look is one thing – but to be the judge of those judgmental looks?  Oh boy…that’s a whole OTHER thing, and now we might be forced to start throwing hands bruh.  I know that I don’t personally have the time, the want, or the will to be the guy to educate the likes of Garage T. Rashington III about how un-woke this song truly is, but hopefully someone out there will point him in the direction of his own evolution.  “They give me looks, like something ain’t quite right.”  How rude!  Like…quite impinging upon my first amendment bro – my face has the freedom to say anything it wants to with my crossed eyes, bulging cheeks, and stuck out tongue.  Don’t you fucking judge me you fuckin’ fucker.  Who’s with me?  Garage should be pounded by a thousand fists of our shared communal fury.

He continues his perilous path of victimhood on “Someone Didn’t Listen.”  It’s always someone else’s fault, ain’t that right Mr. T Rashington III?  Maybe YOU should try listening for once!  Like…BE the change you want to see in the world, like all the generic motivational posters in the office tell you to do.  We hold the truth to be self-evident that he clearly doesn’t read either, based on his aversion to the advice of the ‘hang in there cat’ and his ilk.  So let’s turn the tables and see how HE likes it for a change – that sound good to everybody?  Cool.  Watch this then.  How does this song sound?  I have NO IDEA.  Why?  Because “Someone Didn’t Listen” – and that someone was ME motherfucker!  Surprise bitch!  I make my own rules and I do what I want – because THAT is a tasty burger!  Look…I read this song so many times over that I didn’t actually NEED to hear it, okay?  All these lines like “I knew you would” and “I knew you’d break my heart” and such – this is just Garage passing the buck like he always does, avoiding any accountability for his own role in the situation.  Then he tries to get all kinds of poetic in amongst his obvious narcissism – “I knew the candle.  I knew the flame.”  Like, no you didn’t bruh.  I’ve talked to both the candle AND the flame prior to writing this review and they swear they’ve never even heard of you.  As a completely unrelated wise man once said, “pride is a hell of a drug” – and inside jokes are for idiots.

Finally!  A tiny morsel of honesty from this mythical man, on the autobiographical hit song, “Connected, Disconnected, Unhinged.”  This post-masturbatory dose of self-reflection is reluctantly insightful.  Here, Garage asks the important question of whether or not we’ll ever be enough for our phones.  They give and give to us, and all we do is fondle them with our clumsy big-ass thumbs, thumb-fucking away.  This R rated song points out exactly how perverse and pornographic life on Earth has become, and yet how needy we are at the same time.  It’s like, we COULD put down our phones for a second, but then how would they know that we love them anymore?  What if our phones got cold?  Who would blanket them with our gentle caress?  What if our phones got wet?  Who would comfort them in a bowl of rice if not for us?  That’s the thing about “Connected, Disconnected, Unhinged” – it’s a song that makes it crystal clear that our phones need us just as much as we need them.  Essentially, it’s a slop-filled love song.  It’s a reminder of how we’re all so much better off looking at the pictures of things we like without having to be forced to endure, survive, or battle against the actions of actually interacting with them IRL.  While Garage obviously plays the starring role in this particular story because he cannot ever surrender the spotlight in his myopic view of the world, there are kernels of truths you might even find relatable to your own life within “Connected, Disconnected, Unhinged” – but shhh…don’t tell him, or he’ll change it.  You could also look at this song as the instructions on how to successfully grow healthy couch potatoes.

With a heaping dose of genuinely useful advice, “The Invention” is a song that succinctly explains how it is so much better to never try.  Far too often, we get wrapped up in the concept of doing things, or get the idea that we can somehow contribute something meaningful to this floating of valley of malls that we’ve created, and it just ain’t so!  Thankfully, every so often, out of billions and billions of sperm shot each and every year, one successful swimmer will go on to be the kind of leader we need.  In this instance, it’s Garage T. Rashington III, who insightfully reminds us through “The Invention” that y’ain’t shit now, and y’ain’t never gonna be shit later on either.  So…I mean…basically you should just go back to the previous song and further listen to how to go about merging permanently with your couch cushions.  BUT…should you choose to continue listening to this volume-enhanced song that serves as a wonderful guide on how not to do…umm…anything – I can practically guarantee that “The Invention” will motivate you to remain unmotivated for the rest of your wretched, miserable life.  Just consume y’all – it is SO MUCH easier and the travel time is way less.  Even as a Canadian, all I hear about is how much gas costs per gallon in this awfully imaginary inflationary state of the USA – so do your part and LEARN something from this song will ya?  This poor schlub that Garage is singing about, schlepping his invention around town like it’s as significant as the four-hundredth flavor of Coke, breaking his back trying to hock his wares to the likes of BIG CORN and their corporate affiliates…P’SHAW I say!  Dreams?  WTF are THOSE for and what GOOD have they EVER done for ANYONE?  “You may think you’re onto something,” as Garage will tell you…but you’re not, and deep down you know it, so just stay home.  Stay wrapped up tight in the warm glow of your phone machine and keep on thumb-fucking away my friends.

I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong.  “Plugs” is not about the butt kind.  I’m not saying that for a certain fact…I think Garage has written this song to be purposely ambiguous and make you believe that it IS about the butt kind of “Plugs,” so it’s a little hard to say for sure what this song is actually about.  Like…lines like “leaving it behind” – that could totally be a sly butt reference.  Or, if you’ve been there before yourself, you might feel like that’s what he’s getting at when he sings “of the burning kind,” like that time you decided to supersize your hole to fit the Bad Dragon way ahead of schedule.  “I revel the sensation” is clearly a reference to the intense satisfaction of deep butt-pluggery – and don’t even get me started on what he’s talking about when he sings about his “internal shopping cart.”  This is vividly GRAPHIC y’all – “Plugs” is definitely what they call NSFW material, so make sure you’ve got the room to yourself if you’re going to listen to this rude-but-pleasurably-informative song about plugging thy hole.  I’ve got no notes here…this song leaves you full-filled with “no itches left to scratch,” sincerely.

Rambling like he’s the real-life version of a David Mamet script, “The Millers” is actually quite a well-crafted tune that has the plot-line of a full feature film.  By the end of it all, Garage morphs himself from Mamet to Tarrantino in another tasty burger of a twist…there’s mischief, mistresses, spies, blood, guts, guns…all of the great things that the kids tune in to watch Magnum P.I. for.  Have you seen Magnum P.I. before Becky?  What did I tell you earlier folks…I make my own rules, and inside jokes are for idiots.  Most of this review is unreadable, but you won’t realize that I’m 100% aware of this because you probably didn’t read this far.  “Anyway…Susan…if you like, our conversation”…about “The Millers,” it’s “as faint a sound in my memory as those fingernails scratching on my hull…”  I’m kidding around.  Kind of.  Maybe?  Look – I think I’ll remember “The Millers” five years from now, but can any of us really be sure?  I’ll say this…you can save some good coin by listening to this song.  Think about it – you go to the movies, that’s gas for the driving, popcorn for the eating, coke for the drinking, a ticket for the watching.  All I’m saying is that a tab of acid can still be found for the low, low price of like, $5.  You take one of those instead, and watch the imagery in your mind as you listen to an audible movie like “The Millers” and you’re all set.  No need to curse the inflation-nation with value like the Good Lord Garage provides.

Plus, you can extend your good time by continuing on into the psychedelically tinged sounds of “The Truth About Eliza” and having yourself a dance-party.  Two things you might notice as you dig into this track – a third of the album starts with songs that have “The” at the beginning, and there seem to be multiple references to “meat” within the content of this record, both intentional, and clearly implied.  Listen…it’s my job, as a critic, to make sure that I’m being critical when the need arises and it’s called for – so let me be as real with you as I can possibly be about this particular song and say that, I honestly don’t feel like I know Eliza any better now than I did going into this.  Listening to “The Truth About Eliza” will leave you feeling like it has been ghost-written by George Costanza – this is a song about nothing.  Sure it SOUNDS good, but it’s akin to buying a bag of potato chips where the main ingredient is AIR.  I would have loved to have gotten to know the real details about Eliza…where she went to school, what model of iphone she thumb-fucks with, or does she or doesn’t she eat avocado toast in this political climate and such – but we don’t get ANY of these details in this T. Rashington III song.  Sad!  This is such an opportunity shamelessly squandered.  We don’t even know who Eliza has or hasn’t slept with by the end!  For real – what kind of song even IS this?  To think that we get to know “The Millers” inside & out, yet have no sense of whether Eliza likes Warhol or Pollock better, or if she still likes to read Roald Dahl as an adult despite the inherent racism that escaped her in her youth, or if she is foolish enough to still believe that birds are real – we know NOTHING of these things by the time it’s over, and that’s tragic!  It just goes to show that even masters of the craft like GTR3 still have so much to refine in their art, like the rest of us do.  While the myths are certainly mythical, we must remember, he’s still a man at the core of it all…and like any participant in the patriarchy would do, he felt compelled to try and man-splain Eliza to us.  Thanks but no thanks Garage – I’m not falling for your false feminism for a seventh time friend-o.  Fool me once, shame on me.  Fool me seven times & you probably should have been me-too’d by now.

As we end with the super dramatic sounds of “Way Up In The Air,” I find myself trying to figure out what Statler and Waldorf would have had to say about this record, as they’re still the gold standard of criticism to this very day.  Would they have thrown tomatoes?  Would they have found a modicum of empathy for the fact that Garage has done his level best to entertain us?  Would they have walked away from the balcony for the first time, leaving their post as a metaphor for how they truly felt about Thick Slop?  I suppose we’ll never truly know.  All I can tell you is how I felt about this album…this narcissistic exploration of self-indulgence…this voyage into voyeurism and perversion of language…this audible equivalent of a chai latte with foam on it originally, but with the foam taken off, heated further to five hundred degrees too hot with a half twist of lemon, and the suggestion of a foam substitution added in afterwards…it was all so much better than I thought and was able to so clearly and accurately describe.  We need artists like Garage T. Rashington III out there in this world we’re living in, to fuck it up for the rest of us and keep things weird…without him, and the example he sets for us all, we’d be lost.  Even though his future would appear to be “Way Up In The Air” with this somehow satisfying sub-adequate release, I still felt like I was able to be the bigger person by finding a way to enjoy this Thick Slop.  You could eat this album with a fork instead of a spoon – it’s CHUNKY…and that’s really saying something, even if I don’t know what that something is.  Look…to be honest with ya, you know if I felt like complaining about what I heard than I surely would…but the facts, as written, speak for themselves – this album is indeed, available.

Do your part to pay Garage T. Rashington III less than pennies on the dollar by relentlessly spinning Thick Slop at the digital doldrums of Spotify here:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/2YPl1AqY1gmwsUvDH2v4hp

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Jer@SBS

https://sleepingbagstudios.ca

"I’m passionate about what I do, and just as passionate about what YOU do. Together, we can get your music into the hands of the people that should have it. Let’s create something incredible."

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