Take a deep breath because it may be the last you had as some Kent lads are about to grab the last murmur with both hands. Slaves are back with their third album in three years and it is 9 tracks of full-throttle unambiguous power punk, the brilliant Acts of Fear and Love is out right now.
Isaac and Laurie are back with another banger in the form of their third LP since 2015, and my, my, my, are they as quick on the draw as they are with their hammer hitting the bullet. As soon as the first notes ‘The Lives They Wished They Had’ – an exposition of ‘aspirational’ Instagram aesthetics – plays out, the dripping fuel of the sarcastic and drawling punk sound of the Kent lads is instantly lit, and BANG!
“Too late, fuck you, we’re not happy now” – ‘Bugs’, Slaves
The targets are the same: the class system, consumerism, justice or the lack of it, social media, and basically anything else they deem to be unfair. They even slam through tracks such as ‘Bugs’ and ‘Cut and Run’ with a natural gritted flair. Notably now though they have added a more tender touch on songs like ‘Daddy’ and ‘Photo Opportunity’.
Whether it is with the addition of a few actual singing notes from Isaac (shocking we know), or the more controlled choruses such as in ‘Magnolia’, which provide a few more hooks to lay your ears on, this album is an evolution without the loss of their culture.
Isaac and Laurie announce themselves on this album, lyrically it is the band at their most intelligent but accessible. Musically they have invigorated their sound and re-christened their movement without losing touch with their soul. In truth, Acts of Fear and Love is the album to make Slaves‘ dreams a reality. It’s their best work yet.
This album is a statement of intent and it is one that demands to be read and read very fucking loud.