Slaves – Take Control

Brash on the outside, there’s more going on with Slaves than meets the eye.
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Slaves - Take Control

Brash on the outside, there’s more going on with Slaves than meets the eye.

Label: Virgin EMI
Released: September 30th 2016
Rating: ★★★

It’s questionable that any band can provoke opinion quite as effectively as Slaves. There are no niceties to ‘Take Control’, the band’s second-stroke-third-stroke-latest full-length. If anything, over its opening salvo they’ve dialled up the noise since 2015’s ‘Are You Satisfied’.

That’s no bad thing, either. If their plan is to blast straight through the massed lines, then doing so at full-pelt seems a solid strategy. As does enlisting legendary Beastie Boy Mike D – who both produces and appears on the snotty ‘Consume or Be Consumed’. That Isaac even dares to sort-of-rap in his presence proves further that Slaves have no time for self doubt.

There’s still variation to the volume, though. ‘Play Dead’ is a battering ram, swinging between raucous groove and blasting assault, but its companion ‘Lies’ is possibly as close to restrained as Slaves have come, straying perilously near words like ‘angular’ and ‘cool’. ‘Steer Clear’ – featuring Baxter Dury no less – takes that line even further, polishing a quirky, indie rock gem that seems the exact opposite of what the world expects from the Tunbridge Wells duo. Brash on the outside, there’s more going on with Slaves than meets the eye. Stephen Ackroyd

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