Monday, 21 December 2015

My Top Ten Albums of 2015 - Number Three

Most of the artists on this list are my age or even older, but the combined age of the guys in Slaves is probably younger than all of them. Which is reassuring to an old muso who thinks he might be falling completely out of touch with teenage pop culture. Circa Waves, The Bohicas, Drenge, Wolf Alice... there's been a brace of interesting new guitar bands this year (let's face it: there is every year, though they rarely trouble the mainstream any more) but Slaves are by far the most exciting.

On the surface, they follow that minimalist guitar 'n' drums approach that worked for The White Stripes, adding lashing of snotty, punky attitude and most important of all, two things that are missing from the majority of contemporary chart music (pay attention James Bay, et al.): A SENSE OF HUMOUR and SOMETHING TO SAY.

Everything kicks off with the wonderfully belligerent The Hunter in which Laurie & Isaac (not the most punk rock names, but in their own strange way they're more punk rock than Johnny Rotten ever was) bemoan the "experts" who are making money out of global warming before spitting out their mission statement...
The feeling is mutual 
You don't like what we do 
Because we say what we are thinking 
And that shocks and frightens you
Next comes a long-awaited dig at the capital... with the indisputable Video of the Year (see below).
Cheer up, London
It's not that bad
Cheer up, London
You're already dead and it's not that bad
Cheer up, London
It's not that bad
Cheer up, London
It's really really not that bad, is it?
How can it be
So bad
When you're already dead?
I've already featured track 3, the glorious Sockets (The Clash meets The Evil Dead), but shortly after that comes the sublime Do Something in which the band turn all Tyler Durden on our asses before forgetting their own second verse. 
Your worries and your fears
Manipulating you
The ringing in your ears
Is self-inflicted, too
Doing damage to your health
To get the instant fix
It really is incredible
How people get their kicks
Looking at the floor
Won't get no answers there
The product in your hair
Or her lacy underwear
Are you happy?
Or are there things that could be done?
Whether you're midway through the process
Or you haven't yet begun, come on!!!
And there's what surely must be the Student Anthem of the year: Wow!!! 7AM. (They can't remember the last time they saw that time of day.)

To be honest, the second half of the album can't quite live up to Side A, but it doesn't matter. Slaves did more to grab me by the throat on those first seven songs than any other band of urchins or whippersnappers this year... and I have high hops for their future.
You're not stuck in traffic...
You ARE traffic.
Do not overtake on a bend.

Next, at Number 2, let's be frank: plenty of pluses and no minuses at all.


  1. Enjoying the title track "Are You satisfied". Need to give the other tracks a listen. Thanks for introducing me to a new band. Look forward to reading your #2 and #1!

  2. Thanks, Chris. Hope you dig the rest.

    The video I'd originally attached (but which blogger kindly deleted - the perils of scheduled postings) is now back up.


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