There’s probably a thousand reasons why people make music but, being based in Addis Ababa, Built for Slow – the stage name for one Brian Smith – is, fortunately, doing more than finding something to pass the time in the sunshine.
Being so far from home almost implies self-sufficiency so it is perhaps no surprise that Built For Slow is a one man band with his multi-tasking encompassing the triumvirate of voice, guitar and percussion. Add in a respectful take on rock’s past glories and a sense of humour and you have something of a portable party sound. There’s enough edginess to the lyrics, however, to suggest a desire to subvert stadium pomposity and behave like Billy Bragg. Only in sunglasses, of course. Of the songs, “Let It Burn” is the song with the strongest message but “The Bloody Benders” isn’t far behind.
One man and his songs might not seem much these days but Built For Slow is in no danger of drowning in his own sensitivity and the message advertised in his lyrics should keep him afloat even in the rough seas surrounding the music business these days.
The album is available from Bandcamp.