Not 'just another guitar/drum duo'. ..
These two Kentish men (or men of Kent? depending on their geographical abode) Laurie Vincent (guitar) and Issac Holman (drums) are beginning to reap the rewards of their tireless work ethic, largely due to their fearsome live reputation. Bringing unadulterated fun and chaos to venues up and down the country. A small word isn't it, fun? yet despite the albums obvious annoyances at the current state of the world and the country they reside in, Slaves bring a remarkably upbeat energy and bags of the stuff to the table in a live setting and (as far as they can), replicate this in Are You Satisfied?
It careers through 13 tracks in thirty odd minutes. Screeching around every turn and twist with two fingers firmly stuck out the window to the 9 to 5 suit and tie passers by ('Cheer Up London'). Short blasts of primal punked up noise make up the records high points, 'Hey' and 'Sockets' are already firm live favourites and transcend to record very well.
The wonderfully grubby groove and oh-so-likeable temporary breakdown of 'Do Something' sits somewhere between Sleaford Mods and Scroobius Pip. "You are not stuck in traffic, you are traffic" announces Holman. The mid point title track provides some acoustic gentleness amid the hectic rush of the rest of the album.
'Ninety Nine's relentless electronic drumming takes a darker diversion with hints of industrial and Issac's raspy vocals still clattering wildly over the top of it. Possibly an alternative interesting live track given how the frontman usually sings while simultaneously hammering at the drums standing up.
'She Wants Me Now' carries on where 'Hey' left off. Two and a half minutes of 100mph-foot-down riffing and a chorus begging your new earworm for a break throughout the rest of the day.
Album closer 'Sugar Coated Bitter Truth' is a fireball of ranting savagery. Sizzling with rage but towing the line until the song can't keep itself contained any longer in the final minute with Holman shouting wearily 'Do you ever feel you're being cheated?' over and over.
Slaves operate in a world which is a far cry from the balls-less wanna be pop punk bands that flood the airwaves with nothing new to offer. Even at the tender ages of their early twenties, they are more in tune with their punk forefathers than most and are firmly grounded with a natural ability not to be taking themselves or this job too seriously. 'Are You Satisfied?' is a VERY important album at this time in the music 'biz' never mind in our country, and Slaves we are truly grateful.
Words - Pete Jackson
'Are You Satisfied?' is out now