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Slaves - Acts Of Fear And Love Review

Opening with a venomous, spitting sneer of ‘Oi! What are you doing?,’ ‘Acts Of Fear And Love’ is the third studio album from Kent duo Slaves. It takes you right back to the 2015 Slaves days — their classic, old-school punk sound seemingly back for good.

Isaac is ballsy as hell on the album, spitting into the mic in an almost intimidating way, with Laurie’s background shouted vocal feeling more like a second lead. The album draws back a vivacious garage feel, a certain grit embedded throughout. Retaining the DIY hardness of debut album ‘Are You Satisfied?’, ‘Acts Of Fear And Love’ has pushed Slaves back into their original sound, shoving their music into the core of the punk sphere, which their last album ‘Consume Or Be Consumed’ drew them so far away from.

Laurie and Isaac have managed to deploy something a lot heavier here, an element of abrasive skin-headed anger thrashing about in each track.

Opening track ‘The Lives They Wish They Had’ ends with Isaac screeching, “Slaves…slaves!” over a grungy riff courtesy of guitarist Laurie. The band have amped up their use of reverb and distortion on this album, creating something a lot slimier and messier than their last album.

Say what you like about the album, it’s impossible to deny it is blazing with confidence and a witty, abrasive humour. What we loved about Slaves when they emerged into the DIY punk scene has returned into the mainstream, and about time too.


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