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Album Review: ‘Take Control’ – Slaves

Slaves-2014

There’s nothing I like more than donning my Doc Martens and injecting my Australian suburban day with a bit of British punk anarchy (whilst shouting “Oi!”and attempting to head-butt my neighbours…). What better way to do it than listen to Slaves 2016 album ‘Take Control’.

I’ve only recently been put onto these guys, and HALLELUJAH! – I could tongue kiss that person that recommended them because Slaves are absolutely rockin’ my pedestrian little world.

Love At First Listen

It was love at first listen when I heard the single ‘Cheer Up London’ from their 2015 debut album ‘Are You Satisfied’; with the lyrics “Cheer up London / Mind the Gap”. Oh Lordy! I’m in already! Take my money pleeease! Incidentally, the clip for this song won the NME Award for Best Music Video of that year. Give it a watch – it’s highly entertaining.

Since then, the dynamic duo of Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent have supported the likes of Kasabian and Jamie T, and the buzz has grown into a huge vibe. This latest offering ‘Take Control’ has upped the ante, and nothing could say this more than a collaboration with Mike D from The Beastie Boys called ‘Consume Or Be Consumed’. This starts with the riotous war cry of “Coca Cola!”, and goes on to command us that; “You will consume what you are fed / Breath in the dirty air people”. Slaves are bounding with anarchic energy, but it’s not just the vacuous, superficial, grunting variety (The Offspring – anyone?), it’s actually backed up with some substance. Their punk-rock forebears have passed the torch on, moving away from the apathy of Thatcherism and replacing it with anger about disposable societies and Brexit. You might roll your eyes (I sometimes do when people start banging on about such things) and think; “Really – is life that bad?”, but Billy Bragg has recently said that he thinks our current era is “far worse” than when Margaret Thatcher was in power. Food for thought.

Mostly though – Take Control is roguish fun. Isaac and Laurie are two naughty boys who want to let us in on their shenanigans. On ‘Spit It Out’ they have a go at grumbling retirees. “Sucking on a sour sweet, waiting for a train / Looking at the information, ready to complain”. However, my absolute fave on this album is ‘People That You Meet’. The taunting, almost nursery rhyme prosody of the lyrics is playful and I snort-laughed all the way through it.

Conclusion

Anyhoo – I loved this album because I’m a sucker for British Punk, but I think anyone looking to throw a bit of mischief into their day will like it too. Take Control is the dog’s bollocks. Listen to it just for shits and giggles.

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