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The debut record from Slaves is a beastly package of thrashing punk

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I don’t know about you but for me England has always been what springs to mind when I think of punks. I know The Ramones did it first but it’s the ‘Down With Thatcher’, Mohawk wearing Johnny Rotten that really embodies my idea of the classic punk sound and image.

UK punk goons Slaves definitely have the sound, and while they don’t have safety pins and bin bags on, they sport a modernised punk look. While some would say that releasing their debut album Are You Satisfied? through a major label like EMI isn’t very punk. I don’t see that as a big deal. If anything it shows EMI have got some balls.

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Slaves is a beastly package of thrashing punk, their debut record a blaring social commentary with enough balls to make Margaret Thatcher quake in her grave

These guys make vicious electric riffs layered with hard-hitting comments on the state of world, whether they are anyone’s idea of punk doesn’t really matter – their music is the shit! But who are these guys on the other side of the world, and why should I care?

Since 2012 the duo, Laurie Vincent (Guitar/Vocals) and Issac Holman (Drums/Vocals), have been touring the UK with two drums and a guitar, jamming their ambitious social commentary into the ears of anyone who would listen. It wasn’t till last year that someone upstairs at Virgin EMI pricked up and started to pay attention.

Slaves have been hard at work on the debut album, which dropped on June 1st, and having already fanatically listened to the fruits of their labour, it is clear that the hard work has paid off in a big way. At first listen the sound is incredible; Royal Blood’s heavy riffs meets Death from Above’s dancey beats and the pop punk hooks of early Arctic Monkeys, glued together with the inner London aggression of Prodigy’s Firestarter. But once you really get stuck into it there is so much more to love.

The album stabs its way out of the cover with single The Hunter, a classic punk rager with a driving guitar hook, raw energy, and pointed message: WE ARE NOT SATISFIED! The happily hammering anthem Cheer Up London recently got the elaborate one take music video treatment. The capitalist struggle has made you dead already, but its not that bad – Cheer up London!


Prepare to jump around uncontrollably to instant mosh classic Sockets. A meandering guitar intro draws you in for a track with enough party hard vitality to level a small house. Do Something has fast become my favourite of the bunch. This dirty jam will speak to anyone who has plodded out of bed at 7am to cram onto a train full of similarly disaffected paper pushers. We get a solemn intermission from the title track Are You Satisfied? Acoustic guitar and piano draws an immediate and stark contrast to the rest of the album, pulling you in close to lyrics carried on a broken voice.

While the album does fall a bit flat in the second half (the repetitive and pounding drumbeats and hooky riffs only engage you for so long – and we get it, you hate the establishment) we are given a gift in the form of redeeming and bizarre Feed The Mantaray, which is in clear and desperate need of moar cowbell!

My hope is that Slaves quickly plan an Australian tour soon. Are You Satisfied? is a great album full of commanding social commentary and raw punk fury – but at their core Slaves are a party band and I can’t wait to get sweaty and jump around to some of their killer tracks!

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June 4, 2015