By Emily Jade Ricalton
Everyone’s favourite punk dynamic duo, Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman, are back with a
four-track EP after the release of their third studio album just last year. And, I must say,
what a short, yet sweet come back it is.
In comparison to ‘Acts of Fear and Love’, Slaves’ ‘The Velvet Ditch’ screams with a powerful
energy that is very similar to their first album, ‘Are You Satisfied?’. It is what punk is meant
to be. Well, the first two tracks are anyway. Both ‘One More Day Won’t Hurt’ and ‘It Makes
Me Sick’ transgress into each other with an aggression that dominates the whole entire EP,
despite them being the two shortest tracks. Having said that, their formidable sound
dismisses their length, making these tracks, in my opinion, one of the best we’ve ever heard
from the band before.
After a wave of pure fury, the EP then introduces us to a much calmer, unusual sound that
has only ever been reflected in tracks like ‘Are You Satisfied?’ and ‘Photo Opportunity’
before. The EP shows us a bland and basic song that remains in true punk heritage through
its monosyllabic sound and four-chord structure. Even though ‘The Velvet Ditch’ may not be
the most interesting track on the album, it does reassure its listeners’ on the band’s genre,
especially after the release of ‘Take Control’ in 2016, which discovered an increasingly
mainstream sound by adopting the Beastie Boys’ Mike D as its main producer.
However, this vanilla sounding album has seemed to have burnt in hell with the abstract
statement that Slaves’ new EP has brought to the modern punk scene. As listeners we see
two opposing sides of the band. One side screams hostility and violence, and yet the other
represents a subtle sound that resembles the pain of being a modern day youth. Sounds
familiar? Well, that’s the meaning of punk for you.
It’s almost as if this small musical number has thrown us back to the late 1970s and I am
experiencing a new form of young, immature and adolescent domination. And, yes, I am
undeniably loving all eleven minutes of it, if I don’t say so myself.
‘The Velvet Ditch’ was released on the 18th of July.