Slaves - 'Acts Of Fear And Love'

7/10

After first bursting onto the scene with their iconic debut album 'Are You Satisfied?' back in 2015, punk duo Slaves were the first in a wave of raucous new bands that changed the landscape of British music for almost a year. Suddenly, being loud and in-your-face was an admirable quality that got you daytime Radio1 airtime, and so to ride that wave as far as it will go, the pair released their sophomore LP 'Take Control' the following year. But by then, the fatigue had already begun to settle in. So as they return with album number three, the pair are branching out from their original sound and delivering something more than just a one-note direction.

While on the surface it may have all the same hallmarks as any other Slaves return, 'Acts Of Fear And Love' has this very accessible angle to it, pulling it out of the gritty DIY arena and into something with a more refined production about it. The tenacious and sarcastic attitude has also been given a massive strip back, only really cropping up on tracks like 'Magnolia', that only seem to have made the cut in order to appease their loyal fanbase. Overall, this seems like a record that the duo were unsure about making. Knowing full well that they needed to evolve their sound this time around, there are pockets of resistance that see them struggling with leaving their past behind.

But despite the tension in where this record thinks its going, it does still manage to deliver the goods in a confident way. 'Acts Of Fear And Love' is a tight and well-executed release from a band that just don't seem to be low on ideas, and makes for a promising insight into where this band's sound will be heading in the future.

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