by Taylor William-Hill

Coming across a two-piece band always intrigues me. This is predominantly because I listen to a few songs, become immersed, and then search the band up to learn about their compact personnel. Some may suggest that, by having only two members, you are sacrificing the subtle individualities that make a band’s music so special. On the contrary, I believe that having a smaller personnel is a highlight of the band’s talent to overcome the absences of other potential members, thus allowing the band to devise their own unique style. With Slaves, you wouldn’t even realise that they were a two-piece band because of how polished and raucously pleasant their music is.

In 2012, Slaves self-released their EP Sugar Coated Bitter Truth and then re-released it the following year on their Bandcamp with three bonus tracks. Other labels of discography include their official debut album Are You Satisfied? which was released last year, receiving an 810 from NME. If you bought a copy from HMV, you would also receive a bonus EP. It was probably my favourite album of last year as it epitomised ‘hardcore’ garage punk; it was always a pleasure to subconsciously march to Feed The Mantaray when walking from place to place with headphones in. Even more difficult was resisting the temptation to head bang to some of the heavy drops and stops in a lot of their songs. This year, Slaves released Take Control, which Beastie Boys’ own Mike D praised for being more “raw” and “alive” than its predecessor; he, in fact, features on the track Consumed Or Be Consumed.

Ultimately, Slaves’ Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holam are an exuberant pair of musicians and talented songwriters that masterfully formulate heavy riffs, harsh and gritty drum beats and lyrics that fulfil the energy of their songs. From what I’ve watched online, their gigs look a spectacle. I am compelled to see whether they hold up as well as they do from what I’ve seen. With this, I can’t wait for them to visit our Great Hall on the 11th of November, where they should, indubitably, satisfy (no pun intended) my curiosity.