UK duo Slaves are here to prove that punk’s not dead and boy, oh boy have they been doing just that. With a solid catalogue of harsh bluesy guitar riffs from Laurie Vincent coupled with the energetic drumming and fierce social commentary of Isaac Holman’s lyrics these guys are making sure that people don’t forget the heyday of the UK punk scene.
They’ve been pumping out release after release of cracking material since 2012 and this year sees them offer up the short-but-oh-so-sweet 4 track EP The Velvet Ditch. A chunky palm-muted riff opens proceedings on first track One More Day Won’t Hurt and delivers an abrasive tale of a life wasted “sittin’ on the same ol’ barstool, sippin’ on the same ol’ beer”. Holman’s accent is half the charm of the vocals the other half is the brutal honesty of the lyrics he pens, as is witnessed on the quick delivery of the punk anthem It Makes Me Sick.
The second half of the EP is a much more subdued affair. A vibrato-ridden, blues-heavy guitar riff guides the title track through the motions and makes you feel like you’re sitting at the back of some dive bar on the wrong side of the tracks watching some poor down and outs singing of their loathing for their town.
The last song, When Will I Learn? takes the cockney young lads into a much softer territory with the heavily-distorted guitars and bashing of the drums traded in for a piano and some soft backing harmonies from Vincent. It’s a song that definitely stands out against their back-catalogue musically but ion terms of the lyrical content stays true to form to what the boys have always written.
It’s for sure a solid EP but let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for another full-length release from these punk rock heroes.
Slaves – The Velvet Ditch is OUT NOW!
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Listen to One More Day Won't Hurt Here: