On “Falling,” the opener to the second album from Charleston’s 2 Slices, leader Danny Martin delivers a verse that crystallizes the theme of the song — and the position of his band.
“Now we have an audience / Play along / We’ll imagine what it feels like,” he opines, as synths and bass, both sparkling and springy, build to another round of the purgative kiss-off chorus. “Now we’re living in suspense / When do we end? / Through the lens is what we look like.”
The words deftly evoke the glare of public exposure and how it can melt bonds in weak relationships. But the lines also apply to the group. Having spent three years attracting a regional following with a lightly psychedelic, heavily emotional swirl of indie rock, hip-hop and electronic dance music, 2 Slices look to turn their success into something lasting.
And Vision of 2 should do just that. It is, in every respect, a purposeful step forward from 2017’s Best Believe, enhancing the group’s appeal without diluting their essence.
Nic Jenkins and Brett Nash respectively contribute drums and bass that ratchet the rhythmic intrigue — Nash’s lithe and gritty undulations weave indomitable life into the staccato machinations of “Enough 2 Leave,” and the combination of Jenkins’ jazzy skitters and Nash’s bent and bleary progressions allows “Let Myself In” to throttle with punk abandon and swerve into druggy, mind-tingling curves.
The synths are fine throughout, never too sheeny or too caustic, occupying an edgy space in between. But it’s vocalists Martin and Grace Joyner that anchor the album’s textural thrills and cathartic feels. Emoting with beautiful clarity, they sing through shifting modulation amid the hyperdriven ABBA vibes of “Vision of You,” offering an apt mirror for words that seek certainty from unreliable perception — and a convincing proof of their arresting chemistry.
Through the lens of their second album, 2 Slices look like something truly special.
What: 2 Slices
Where: New Brookland Tavern, 122 State St.
When: Saturday, Feb. 8, 8 p.m.
With: Crybaby, Dead Swells
More: 803-791-4413, newbrooklandtavern.com