The two piece garage punk rockers Slaves from Kent may have released their debut record Sugar Coated Bitter Truth 2 years ago in 2012 but their status as ‘rising stars’ still resonates 3 years on. After not releasing anything for a respective 2 years, Slaves returned with the ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’ EP in early 2014 followed by the single release of ‘Hey’ later on in the year which seemed to reignite interest in the band and then at the back end of 2014 they released the single ‘The Hunter’ which was greeted even more positively than ‘Hey’.
In many ways Slaves are unlike anything that can be heard at the moment and I think their appeal is particularly dictated towards a younger listener. The two piece blend Isaac Holman’s devastating drums and of course his wonderfully raw, gritty, aggressive and distinctively Southern English lead vocals with Laurie Vincent’s highly enthused guitar delivered with an equal amount of aggression and intensity as Holman’s vocals as well as his own backing vocals particularly prevalent on the latest single. The end result is a culmination of a hard-hitting garage/punk band with a Plan B ‘Ill Manors’ vocal style.
Although perhaps not hitting the ground running like some of the other newcomers more recently, Slaves role in the current music scene still has potential to be considerably influential. The late developers’ announcements for several festivals already this summer as well as more to come I’m sure indicates their attractiveness to festival organisers and their predicted appeal to potential audiences. This is in addition to them embarking on the NME Awards Tour with Interpol up until now and from the 19th of February to the 4th of March with The Wytches, Fat White Family and headliners Palma Violets finishing at The Forum, London.
Officially released on 23rd March, Slaves’ latest EP in the run up to their recently announced second album ‘Are You Satisfied?’ scheduled for the 1st June bodes well for this future release. Built up of three tracks, the first of which is the title track which represents the same aggression and rawness that we’ve already come accustom to with Slaves except with the added falsetto style echo on the chorus working to great effect. Seemingly thinking back to their days back in their hometown in Kent, lead singer Holman rants about the ‘paper thin’ walls of their flat as well as their anger and irritation at hearing flatmate Tim making love to a woman a bit too loudly for their liking. All these elements combined make for a gritty, frustrating and vigorous 2 minutes and 55 seconds.
The other two tracks, ‘OK’ which they’ve clearly re-recorded and put on this EP after it appearing on the ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’ release previously and ‘I Shine My Shoes With A Dirty Vest’ make up the rest of the EP. ‘OK’ is relatively short and to the point but doesn’t hold back on its intensity and boyishness with the thrashing or untidy guitar as well as Holman’s careless vocals and the suitably ‘shouty’ chorus. This is contrasted with ‘I Shine My Shoes With A Dirty Vest’ a track not even a minute and a half long arguably a bit of an experiment by the two-piece which combines a synth pop style beat with a very simple bass line with no use of any familiar intense Slaves style guitar. However, Holman’s style of vocal delivery is almost teenage or careless in nature with the use of spoken word towards the end even with an element of ‘The Streets’ about it.
Particularly because of the innovative nature of what Slaves bring to the current alternative music scene, they are definitely ones to look out for at the festivals this summer and if you’re looking for a trashy, punk-enthralled live performance which won’t shy away from any sort of mosh then Slaves are your match made in heaven. With their second record destined for release in early June as well, this young Kent duo can surely only have bright futures ahead of them.