A Not So “Bad Twin” & Living That SLUGS Life At The Echo

Photo: Tess O’Connor

Marrisa Longstreet calls “Bad Twin” – SLUGS’ very first single – an “incorrect label” and one that adds to the song’s already present tension.

“‘Bad’ vs ‘misunderstood’ is a common theme on the EP.” Longstreet added.

Composed of Longstreet (vox/guitar), Sarsten Noice (bass/vox), Josh Beavers (guitar), and Dash Hutton (drums) the Los Angeles quartet are currently smack dab in the middle of their Monday night monthlong residency (for the low, low price of FREE!) at one of LA’s most esteemed venues for bringing tender baby bands into the light: the Echo. And speaking of EPs, their debut one, Cool World, is halfway freshly released to be celebrated unto the world. By ‘halfway’ I mean that physical copies of Cool World (aka CDs and cassette tapes) were made available on 8/13, night #2 of their residency while the EP’s actual release is scheduled for 8/24.

Until then and for the SLUGS familiar and unfamiliar alike, the mid-tempo indie rock stream of consciousness, “Bad Twin,” goes from simmer to swell to guitar slash in the measured blinks of an eye giving listeners a guided tour of being somewhat resistant to change.

“I want it how it was / I want it now because / You oughta trust me I ain’t adjusting”

And according to Longstreet, there’s a story behind that lyrical scenario: one that involves uprooting from the familiar and the very real angst that it can cause one to feel especially when they’re young.

“A couple years ago I stayed with my older sister in Raleigh, NC for one month and helped out with nannying my three nieces, two of which are twins.” Longstreet explained. “At the time, they were going through the process of moving and changing school districts. One of the twins, who I saw much of my younger self in, was having trouble adjusting. She would throw tantrums and act out, but was also very sweet, sensitive and creative. I, too, moved frequently when I was younger and felt her pain and how it was being misunderstood. At one point during one of her freak outs she screamed ‘I can’t calm down!’ and it was so hard for me not to laugh because not being able to sit in the living room to eat lunch was a very real and devastating scenario to her.”

At the very least, the song serves as a fine primer for what SLUGS have to offer which, by the looks and attendance of their Echo residency, there is a wealth of appreciation for their polished yet punchy rock.

With two more Monday nights of ownership at the Echo you can hear Longstreet express her niece’s emotions during the bridge of “Bad Twin.” “Channeling her at that moment of the song is sometimes the highlight of my night,” Longstreet admitted. “Because as an adult, I still feel that way and it’s just nice to scream it at a room full of people just as normal as it was when she did.”

You can also get to witness as SLUGS continue to go for the proverbial gold by creating individual moods and themes for all four nights, encouraging music fans to be return customers, not only for the music, but for the experience. The first two nights’ themes were Sweets and Blood with Magic and Sports on tap for the next (if one didn’t know better, one might think a take on a certain Red Hot Chili Peppers album was also in play). But make no mistake, crafting a vision and executing it are no simple things but, fortunately, SLUGS found a wealth of support amongst friends.

“We had a lot of big ideas for this residency, being inspired by the hyper-thoughtful Moon Honey, Draemings and Ramonda Hammer residencies. My friend MaryLeigh Roohan helped me actualize the ideas and themes…. So far we’ve created the streamer portal and blood portal, which lead you out to the patio. I’ve been collecting old, heavy TV’s off the side of the road and our guitarist, Josh Beavers and friend Tess O’Connor have made super rad visuals for each night. We also built out a gift shop because I really wanted to be the band in LA that takes their residency to heart way too hard.”

Available at that homemade, handmade gift shop you will find SLUG MUGS, commemorative residency baseball t-shirts, as well as those physical copies of their Cool World EP while on the stage and throughout the room is where Longstreet and SLUGS find some of the typical support that makes this LA music scene so much a community.

“The lineups have been a dream to me. Cecilia from Gothic Tropic and Stella and Emily from Warpaint helped set the sickest vibes with their DJ sets on the first two nights. I’m so grateful to all the bands who agreed to come out and add to the fun.

I had some pre-residency nightmares, but it’s all going much better than my wildest scary dreams!”