The first thing that grabs you about this 5-track E.P. from Swindon punk trio Slagerij is the energy, obviously punk has energy in bags but within five seconds of hearing their music your head, or feet (or both) will be moving.
Over the years punk has taken on many different flavours, from it’s emergence in the mid 70’s it’s evolved from the grimy, grotty New York scene, through the 80’s with the safety pins, studs and hairstyles to make the eyebrows raise, to 90’s MTV-friendly skater punk before finally coming to today’s offering from bands like Idles, Superchunk and Creeper, but it’s obvious that there is an attraction and strong following for this genre.
Sitting at the same dinner table as Green Day and Rancid, Slagerij grab hold of you and refuse to let go until the ride is over. Their take on punk has the catchy chorus of Billy Joe Armstrong, the bass tone of Matt Freeman and the fast, frantic tempo drumming of Travis Barker of Blink 182
This isn’t your Ramone-style two-minute onslaught, this is more the 90’s skater punk that blew over the Atlantic mixed in with the British punk, particularly The Clash, who delved into reggae and ska and made punk more accessible and, dare I say it, commercial.
What you get is five belting tracks from a very good band that would make a nice introduction to some home grown punk and wouldn’t sound out of place at your standard house party. The usual suspects are here, metronomic drumming, some intricate high-hat work, screams, moments to jump around, strong distorted guitar, cleverly placed bass lines and a growly singer and the end results are pretty good. It’s hands in the air party time.
I’m often reluctant to jump into a punk album, purely because the end result can be a let down when compared to the songs being played live, punk thrives and lives off the energy of the band and the audience and that energy is often lost in the recording studio but it seems to be all present and correct here and it feels like the band had fun recording it. It’s not easy taking that energy of a hundred moving people and recreating it in a studio but what this small taster has done is make me keep an eye out for these lads when they play live, it promises to be one hell of a show!