30th SEPTEMBER / VIRGIN EMI RECORDS / LIKE IT
Slaves have burst onto the scene within the past year. Their last record ‘Are You Satisfied?’ was full of tracks with hard hitting riffs and references to going against the system and flipping middle fingers to the man and all that great sense of rebellion. I was very lucky to see these guys live twice last year and both times were absolutely insane. They also want to keep the party going with the release of new album Take Control, complete with a pretty MS Paint-quality album cover.
‘Spit It Out’ kicks off the record via all of the elements that made Slaves so great the first time around. Heavily distorted guitar riffs collide against beaten to death drums, providing a soundtrack perfect for the vocals to tear out their throat on top and throw blood all over the airwaves. It’s chorus cements the fact that Slaves can make energy out of anything as it crashes and crumbles right into the eardrums.
This high octane introduction seeps through onto the track ‘Hypnotised’ which sees Slaves flesh out their instrumental a little. More riffs are thrown together against various effects to bring forth a more layered side to the duo’s sound. It’s a welcome change from the straight forward guitar + drum combo which Slaves battered into the ground for their last two records, and ‘Hypnotised’ also retains the band’s famed strong amounts of energy too.
Take Control features a lot of variety. It has its old album traits in the form of ‘Take Control’, ‘Fuck The Hi-Hat’ and ‘Consume Or Be Consumed’ but Slaves have done a great job at throwing in some extra genres, twists and turns too. ‘Rich Man’ slows down the tempo just a tad to become more of a hard rock tune, and ‘People That You Meet’ also attempts something Swans-like but the less said about it the better.
One of the tracks that stand out to me primarily is ‘Lies’. This four minute song sees Slaves deliver a guitar riff that aims for the hips rather than the pit as its bluesy twinge comes along with a very danceable sound. It’s surprising hit makes me crave for Slaves to head further down the dancier side of punk.
Take Control is another great album from Slaves. These guys have kept to their roots with the anti-establishment lyrics and the punk-flavoured riffs but they have also begun to envelop some other sounds and genres into the mix too. It’s a much more fleshed out record, and one that does seem to mark the start of a transition of Slaves to great effect. Nice work.