20th November | O2 Academy
Kent punk duo, Slaves recently made their third successive foray into the top ten of the UK album charts with Acts of Fear and Love. The continued commercial success of the band, in spite of their somewhat abrasive sound is a reflection of their superior songwriting skills, bringing clever lyrics and a healthy helping of fun. With this record, the band put more work into the song structure and the production, and the result is arguably their strongest release to date. Classic Slaves anthems like Chokehold and Bugs are mixed with more subtle efforts, such as the mellow Daddy, which features Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell on backing vocals. Whether it will achieve the band’s stated aim of taking them further into the mainstream is debatable, but regardless, it was well received by critics and fans alike.
In any case, Slaves’ albums are really best viewed as being the soundtrack for their high-octane live shows, the arena in which the band truly excels. Drummer/vocalist Isaac Holman, playing from the standing position, puts incredible energy into his work, while guitarist Laurie Vincent roams all over, at some points prowling the stage like a stalking big cat, at others bouncing across it like a demented space invader. But what really stands out is the interplay between them, and the curious vibe of hippie love that they bring to punk proceedings. The band have become a festival favourite throughout Europe, and with good reason – they bring an energy to proceedings of which very few bands are capable.
See the video for ‘Chokehold’ here: