A revolution is brewing in Britain. A revolution in the form of garage punk rock. From the likes of Drenge to the all-conquering Royal Blood, the UK music scene has recently seen an influx of bands with a penchant for a sound heavier than a bulldozer. The next duo to take up the baton is Slaves, Tunbridge Wells’ answer to The Sex Pistols… on steroids.
Slaves comprise of just two members (a further link to their afore-mentioned contemporaries): lead singer and guitarist Laurie Vincent, and drummer Isaac Holman. Yet, this lack of manpower doesn’t diminish their sound one iota – Slaves create one of the biggest, loudest, most awe-inspiring noises you’ll hear in 2015. Their music has a wry, comic take on traditional punk rock, with their lyrics often being deliberately abrasive, showcasing their witty 2015 take on the genre. For example, ‘Feed the Mantaray’ sees the duo lamenting about an annoying flatmate, with Vincent delivering the line: ‘Paper walls are paper thin / God, I fucking hate you Tim’, over thundering guitar riffs. Their music feels like anger management therapy, and is suggestive of some very wild, mosh-pit infused live shows (an ambulance outside a venue wouldn’t look out of place, to say the least). Indeed, with the duo currently touring the country on the NME Awards tour with some of the UK’s most raucous live acts – Palma Violets and Fat White Family – these shows would be better advertised as a health hazard than as an evening of musical entertainment. Slaves are also set to play a crop of UK festivals this summer, including Bestival and Sheffield’s Tramlines.
Last year, the band appeared on Later… with Jools Holland, and were also nominated for the BBC Sound of 2015 award alongside the likes of Wolf Alice and Rae Morris. Signed to a major record label, Virgin EMI, and with their debut album, Are You Satisfied?, set for release later this year in June, Slaves are certainly ones to watch.
With their killer tunes, humour-ridden lyrics and very sharp haircuts, are Slaves the answer to a 2015 punk rock band that can break the charts? This may be a tall order, especially in the current climate where guitar bands struggle to make the mainstream, but whatever happens, one thing’s for certain: Slaves won’t be ones to go quietly.
Listen: ‘The Hunter’; ‘Hey’; ‘Feed the Mantaray’; ‘Sugar Coated Bitter Truth’ (EP)
26/2 Manchester Ritz
27/2 Oxford O2 Academy
28/2 Birmingham Institute
02/3 Bristol O2 Academy
03/3 Portsmouth Pyramid
04/3 London Forum