Review: Slaves – Take Control
This is the second studio offering from Kent’s very own political punk pioneers, Slaves. After their first monstrous studio album, Are You Satisfied (2015), Isaac and Laurie had set the bar mighty high for a follow up.
This album has been produced by former Beastie Boys member Michael “Mike D” Diamond, which honestly must be a match made in heaven. The sound Slaves have cultivated over the last 4 years through their first EPs on Bandcamp and their punchy, loud, “in your face” first album, marries well with the Beastie Boys sound. Mike D even features on a song, ‘Consume or be Consumed’, which is probably my favourite track on the record.
The album kicks off with ‘Spit it Out’, which is the perfect opener and is as “Slaves-ish” as you can get; it’s a song that could have been pulled straight from Are You Satisfied, but still manages to sound new and refreshing. Next up is a song called ‘Hypnotised’ which is a new sound for Slaves, reminiscent of classic punk artists like The Cockney Rejects or The Dead Kennedys.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that Slaves have just put out an album full of loud punchy songs. They bring it down further in with the song ‘Angelica’, a laid back track with a nice guitar riff and wonderfully messed up lyrics about an obsessive girlfriend. It goes to show just how talented Slaves are as songwriters. With the punkish political peculiarity of John Cooper Clark, Slaves manage to make you laugh whilst still sending an important message. One of my highlights from the album has to be ‘The People That You Meet’. It is a very new style for Slaves – the rhythm and the wonderful rhyming lyrics are so memorable yet amazingly dark and weird; Isaac Holman’s vocals carry the song like no other artist could, and Laurie Vincent’s guitar manages to sound crunchy yet nonetheless well-rounded. This whole record is so well polished.
Despite Take Control being their second studio album Slaves still have that underground sound that no other artist could get away with. The addition of Mike D in the production works so well, and leaves you hoping that they will collaborate again. This is a brilliant album and is more than satisfying for anyone who loved Are You Satisfied. It’s perfect for almost any occasion; protesting, throwing old phones at Tories or even a spot of light afternoon rioting. Take Control was released under Virgin EMI Records, and is available to buy now in-store and on iTunes.