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Slaves - Are You Satisfied? (Review)

Slaves, Are You Satisfied?

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

PUNK rock duo Slave aim to shake up your existence with their raucous new album, Are You Satisfied? – but aside from some blistering guitar work, this struggles to make the intended impression.

Intended as a riotous riposte to the dreary mood of Austerity Britain, this has plenty to say with its snarly observations about life in modern Britain, but it all too often gets stuck in a rut.

The duo – aka Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent – made a name for themselves on the live circuit (aka Britain’s toilet circuit), in which their ferocious energy creates a manic mosh-pit that finds both of them enthusiastically spending as much time in the crowd as they do on stage.

But while that may sustain them throughout a live set, this collection of songs tends to go on a bit, largely because they seldom shake up the formula of having crunching guitars, pounding drums and bellowed choruses.

Hence, a track like Are You Satisfied? surprises by virtue of its decision to suddenly slow things down. Here, there’s an acoustic strum and minimal piano chords to compliment the vocals, that are as full of questions about life and happiness as the title demands. At just a minute and a half, it’s arguably too short.

More often than not, the album is more content to bludgeon you with its big sound. And while certain tracks, like the empowering Do Something – with lines that poke fun at “the product in your hair or her lacy underwear” before declaring “if you’re not moving, do something… no one’s going to help you, you gotta do it for yourself” – do rock your world, others just tend to go on and on, relentlessly so.

You can well imagine that Slaves see themselves as a punk rock variation on Blur (circa Park Life) with a touch of The Beastie Boys’ early hip-hop sound thrown in. But while they occasionally exhibit the lyrical savviness of the former with the gung-ho rebellion of the latter, they lack the finesse of either act.

Overall, therefore, Are You Satisfied? leaves you feeling dissatisfied and more than a little beaten up.

Download picks: Are You Satisfied?, Do Something, Wow!!!7AM

Track listing:

  1. The Hunter
  2. Cheer Up London
  3. Sockets
  4. Despair And Traffic
  5. Do Something
  6. Are You Satisfied?
  7. Wow!!!7AM
  8. Hey
  9. Live Like An Animal
  10. Ninety Nine [Explicit]
  11. She Wants Me Now
  12. Feed The Mantaray
  13. Sugar Coated Bitter Truth