Updated: Oct 5, 2018
Disruptive line-up changes and controversy have hindered Slaves in recent years, but putting that behind them, you can’t argue the toss that Craig has one of the most natural and unique voices to ever grace the alternative music scene - and there still isn’t a band quite like Slaves with that unmistakable groove and slickness despite the emergence of many similarly elastic styled acts.
A shorter, sharper release in Beautiful Death promises to right the wrongs of last album Routine Breathing. “I know you’ll write me off, I know you always going to cut me out, you think I’m going to let you down, just wait,” Jonny Craig pours out on the opening warning shot ‘I’d Rather See Your Star Explode’. The visceral message and mellow vibe represents the revival of Jonny Craig, partnering well with the rugged riffs and pin-drop dynamic effects they are known for. His rapping and the distorted vocal parts in ‘Patience Is The Virtue’ feel like big victories compared to similar half-hearted gimmicks of the past. Beautiful Death is full of honest and genuine powerhouses and it suits Slaves. ‘I Know A Lot Of Artists’ feels like it has a point to prove, with Craig switching up styles but also subtly drawing attention to the fact that this is easily their most distinctive release by no coincidence of its omission of any guest vocalists on this record - one of Routine Breathing's biggest flaws was its overdose of featuring acts. Between a candid uprising in ‘Deadly Conversations’ and a tender, gripping finale in ‘The Pact’, Routine Breathing closes nearly as well as it opens.
Playlist: I’d Rather See Your Star Explode; True Colors
Released: February 2018, SGB Records