Kent’s favourite two-piece punk provocateurs, Slaves have released The Velvet Ditch EP, their first new material since the release of their UK top-ten album, Acts of Fear and Love.
The EP sees the band showcasing the two sides of their collective personality. Side 1 is a balls-to-the-wall display of the band’s more aggressive tendencies, One More Day Won’t Hurt starts with a Thrash Metal-inspired riff which descends into a heavy mid-paced groove, with Isaac roaring over a thundering beat, while It Makes Me Sick shows the influence of breakneck hardcore punk, such as Minor Threat, the Casualties and Discharge.
Side 2 finds the duo in a more contemplative mood. The EP’s title track has Laurie strumming out a slow, acoustic blues line while Isaac laments the commercialisation of our culture in a style akin to Baxter Dury. When Will I Learn on the other hand is new territory, a plaintive piano ballad showing the band in a more vulnerable light.
“The Velvet Ditch is four songs from four different corners of our band.” Laurie explains. “This EP was us approaching small town mentality, destructive behavioural patterns, and the mental cycles that can be such a struggle for us all to break. The dark recesses within all our minds and how to keep them at bay is what we were exploring through these different styles of music.”