Following their savage grime-punk debut ‘Are you Satisfied?’, Kent duo Slaves are back in the studio, ‘writing beats and eating bananas and drinking carbonated water’ according to their witty Facebook page. Armed with a top-ten debut album and series of festival appearances and sold out gig dates behind them, Slaves are set to own this year. The heavily tattooed Isaac Holman (drummer and lead singer) and Laurie Vincent (guitarist and backup singer) have a unique set up, whereby Isaac stands and drums whilst singing, whilst Laurie jumps around stage with his heavy guitar riffs and fiery backup vocals. They believe that ‘punk is just a fashion statement now’ and that couldn’t be more true. For genuine punk fans, the genre is associated with the Clash and the Boomtown Rats, and a sense of anarchic revolution and anger at austerity and the establishment. Yet nowadays, most people associate punk with Mohawks, electric guitars, and leather jackets which is 100% not the image the band are going for, as stated by the duo in their July 2015 NME interview. Instead, they think grime and hip hop is more closely aligned with the genuine meaning of punk, and these influences come through in their music. Packed full of witty, savage lyrics about Debbie finding her car and the insanely overcast depression on the London underground, ‘Are you Satisfied?’ made it into the top 10 and resulted in the band gaining a Mercury Music Price nomination for best album.
Their love for grime also comes through in their popular BBC Radio One covers of classic grime tracks, like ‘Shutdown’ by Skepta and ‘Go’ by The Chemical Brothers which have had thousands of hits online. They also have Skepta’s support and belief in them, and he joined them on stage at Radio One’s Big Weekend in Norwich to perform ‘Shutdown’. And this wasn’t their only major festival appearance last summer; they played a messy hardcore set at Glastonbury as well as a sweaty intense set on the NME stage at Reading festival (Reading setlist attached below.) The fact that they’re back in the studio, as posted about this morning (3rd February) on their social media pages, is extremely exciting as all their previous discography has been class. Before their album came out last year after being signed by Virgin EMI, Slaves already had an EP out titled ‘Sugar Coated Bitter Truth,’ which is full of intense, hard punk tracks including ‘Black Rose,’ ‘Suicide,’ ‘Beauty Quest,’ and special deluxe tracks ‘How’s Amelia’ and ‘Bad Machine.’ Brutally honest and real, the band are a genuine punk band from a normal working class upbringing, and they’re love for music comes through in their infectious energy and mental stage presence. Album number two certainly will not disappoint!