Judging from their uniformed, self-described "space rock" ("because it’s kind of out there," says Pogosyan), Slow Motion Reign’s sound perfectly lends itself to an unbound invasion of space-like resonance and atmospheric undercurrents.
Stemming from the Los Angeles-based IO, Slow Motion Reign needed a couple of years to hone the sound that has come to define them. At the moment, they are one of three bands signed to Serjical Strike records, a partner label of Columbia founded by the lead singer of System of a Down and fellow Armenian, Serj Tankian.
Slow Motion Reign enlisted Tankian to produce their self-titled EP that, according to him, evokes "great songwriting skills in the tradition of The Beatles and Pink Floyd."
"We get that reaction. Because Serj produced the record, they expect it to be guitar heavy," says Pogosyan when asked about the expected similarity to System of a Down, which isn’t at all evident in their melodic Brit-pop-based material derived from influences like Radiohead, Supergrass and Travis.
Since meeting Tankian through a mutual friend a couple of years back, Tankian has given the band a medium to express themselves, all the while serving as a mentor, or "big brother" as they refer to him.
"He gave us the freedom to be ourselves and make the record we envisioned," says Pogosyan.
Pogosyan, guitarist Sam Babayan, keyboardist Erwin Khachikian and drummer Vigen Sayadian have cohesively created an album of experimental melody progressions and unwavering lyrical tendencies that blend seamlessly with the piano-based core of their music. The song "Isn’t it time?" – arguably the single – best illustrates this unique fusion, with catchy hooks perfectly complemented by a driving piano line and fuzz-ridden guitar. Co-written by Pogosyan and guitarist Sam Babayan, Slow Motion Reign also showcases poignant, socially conscious lyrics, mantras and rally cries.
"We’re like soldiers of the white light, making music that restores the soul," says Babayan about the group’s self-proclaimed "victory song," "No Way, No How."
Meanwhile, "Life Simulator," examines the nation’s obsession with consumerism, which is furthermore accentuated by Babayan’s novel visions of a homogenized, materialistic world.
Slow Motion Reign embrace their Armenian heritage through their music. "We have a lot of Armenian friends, but we haven’t really capitalized on that. Unlike System of a Down, we don’t really wear it on our sleeve," Pogosyan humbly states.
Evident in the overwhelming support shown for System of a Down, the Armenian community is known to rally around its own, and in the case for the talented SMR, it’s hard to imagine that they won’t do the same.
Slow Motion Reign’s self-titled EP is currently available, with a full-length album scheduled for 2005 on Serjical Strike/Columbia Records. For more information, visit www.slowmotionreign.com.