17th August | Rough Trade

When Slaves burst onto the scene with 2015’s superb Are You Satisfied? they represented a breath of fresh air for the UK music scene. Ambitiously confrontational, the debut was both commercially and critically triumphant, earning a top ten chart position and a Mercury Prize nomination. When 2016’s follow-up, the Mike D-produced Take Control replicated much of the angst and bombast of its predecessor, albeit sparked with a greater political charge, the duo began to become defined by, and perhaps limited to, similar sonic recurrences. Fast-forward two years and the band return reinvented, reinvigorated and refined with Acts of Fear and Love, parading their new creation on its release day this Friday, in-store at Rough Trade.

The Kent natives have already released a handful of singles from their third effort, each trading bellicose beats for a more subtly nuanced form of punk. On ‘Cut and Run’, vocalist Isaac Holman swaps his trademark shouts for far calmer tones whilst on ‘Chokehold’, the group captures an expansive sound that seems as though it should have only been possible to an outfit five-strong, rather than two. As intriguing as their musical shift may be, it will be equally interesting to see how the pair, now accustomed to selling out large venues, approach their songs for Friday’s intimate setting, hopefully providing a few acts of fear and a lot of acts of love.

Watch the video for ‘Chokehold’ here: