Forget the exaggerated buzz surrounding Royal Blood, the two-piece labelled as “unique” and “essential”, let’s more importantly focus on Slaves, a duo whose punky energy has lurched listeners minds into a mine field of mosh pits, before they’ve even experienced one of their gigs yet. Emerging from Kent in 2012, this British band have already been snapped up by Virgin EMI and released their debut album, Are You Satisfied?, on 1 June 2015.
Differentiating themselves instantly with the richest baseline from The Hunter, a seductive riff which is non-existent on any other `punk` album, transports listeners to the best sticky underground 4am gig of their life. Fiery-eyed co-frontman Laurie Vincent’s monotone vocals bounce off the slow jamming drums before roaring “Yeah”, that persuades us to jump alongside the crashing crescendo. Menacingly, he whispers the title name halfway through, before relentlessly reeling off topics that range from fears over global warming to confronting musical foes. I’m guessing that I am not the only one who is unaware of the meaning of this track but who cares when I am desperate to chant these indecipherable lyrics during their summer festival sets. “It wasn’t her fault she made sugar taste like salt”, Vincent splutters the refreshingly alternative line on Sockets, which personally is the standout track as it effortlessly becomes a playground of pulsing frenetic electric guitars that weave between the heavy and clinical drums. This track alone could provide you with enough punk and spunk to last the summer especially when the repetitive ruthlessness of the line, “Their sockets, their sockets, their sockets”, is spat more venomously each time. Its full speed ahead with Do Something, lyrically layered with witty paired lyrics such as, “The product in your hair or her lacy underwear”. Their tongue `n` cheek song writing ability is furthered when Vincent questions to the listener, “Oh sorry can I do that second verse again?” Sedating listeners with clipped fragile beats, Wow!!!7AM gradually unspools into a hazy dark daydream of deep grooves that takes a different take on the bands punky and angry spirit. Vincent’s laidback vocals, “I can’t remember the last time I saw 7am” casts a tranquillising spell over listeners, helped by the hypnotic “wows”. The rumbling root of their sound returns in Feed The Mantaray which mimics the angst-ridden grunge of Nirvana when the duo explodes into ear-busting screams. Forget Feed The Mantaray, I want to be fed another slice of this British band burning with innovation. Slaves lack of subtly is summed up by the final track, Sugar Coated Bitter Truth, which is tailor-made for the claustrophobic mosh pits featuring a blender full of bodies. For any serious gig goer, this band is the one to witness as they carry the same level of energy showcased in their album; people are guaranteed to be buried under suffocating punk noise but as long as they come out with their phone, wallet and keys it’s all worth it. Having already reached number 8 in its first week on the UK Albums Chart, Are You Satisfied?, hits the previously unknown sweet spot of modern punk and has proved that their uncompromisingly sound is one of the most sharp and dynamic being currently produced in the UK.