The music of Slunq is so genreless and quite post-everything that it is impossible to stick a label on it; to force it into one of the “casual” drawers of the “music industry/business”. But, against the general trends, this is music and not just “food for our iPods”, not just background noise to fill up our ears – and brains – and cut off any possible contact with the people we may crash into on our way back and forth between home and job.
The much anticipated debut album, “Spoiled Portion”, is a post-modern journey into some gloomy music with very different flavours including Post-Grunge and Post-Industrial. Think of Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains) on a heavy Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails, How to Destroy Angels) diet, but adding an obvious, typical English flavour to it and although lots of influences are there, you can’t really pinpoint anything – the guys managed to twist everything into their own style and deliver genuine material for our listening pleasure.
The result of 2 years effort, the 11 tracks of “Spoiled Portion” paint not the present, but the future sound of Rock.
“Pig Stick” feels like a post-disaster tango. Strangely, the after Apocalypse impression has a warm and friendly vibe, finally finding the release of peace.
“Permea” reminds me of Gary Numan and some of the late Reznor/ Atticus Ross experiments, the layers are more electronic and things are in a permanent motion like dancing. There is a nice balance between some pounding rock-rooted moments and some dark electronic construction. Singer Daniel Knowler has an excellent voice, he can sing like an angel, but he also has the power and the guts of a Rockstar!
“Have Not” perfectly merges those Grunge and Post-Industrial vibes that are so present in Slunq’s music. Although the music is pretty dark, they manage to bring a serious amount of light into it – the balance between some powerful riffs and some smoothly sliding electronic layers gives a particular taste to their music. This one sounds like an electronic addicted Soundgarden.
“Caught In Amber” is another trip into “Future Rock”, and eventually Slunq Rock – for label addicted freaks. Seems familiar, but it isn’t.
“Ten Points Of Light” is bleak and compulsive. Against its title, it’s one of the darkest tracks. Someone’s definitively stolen those lightbulbs! It builds up smartly, combining heavy passages with gloomy breakdowns. “Ten Points Of Light” reveal the philosophy and the musical essence of Slunq by crushing electronics with powerful guitars, smashing soft and hard parts into one another to form their own patterned new element.
“Rosemary” is a surrealist trip into some dark corner of conscience and music. Scary as a horror movie, but rather than on screen it happens in an alley on the way home.
“Glass Face” speeds things up a little, Chris Collins delivers some of his most cutting riffs here. It’s a heavy Post-Rock song without any of that boring, fancy, “staring at my sneakers” or “shoe-gazing” vibe.
“Nailbox” kicks in even more heavily. Peter Dahl-Collins has no mercy on his drums, his bass growling wickedly – the song has a great groove and pulse, running around like a rollercoaster.
“Rusted” is one of my favourites. Reminds me of Cardiacs, having that raging fury; the drums are pounding and the riffs are grinding like there is no tomorrow. And probably there isn’t.
“Monumentalist” turns back to that Post-Industrial soundscape built up lately by Reznor and Atticus Ross. This is a very emotional one, probably one of the best songs, only it ends too soon and kind of abruptly.
“Cedar Pieces” is the kind of song that makes you want more. It’s the perfect end track because you will definitively push the play button again. And it also expresses perfectly what is so exciting about this whole Slunq thing: It’s gloomy but groovy, it’s heavy but has harmonies and melody. It’s Slunq.
Extra points for the extremely retro-futuristic inspired layout and artwork. In a world where zeros and ones are the words and emoticons replacing the human touch, the package sometimes is more important than the actual content. It’s definitely not the case, in this case.
“Spoiled Portion” might be the last bottle of soul in a world were machines are already taking over, so this eye-grabber layout is certainly useful.
Peter Dahl-Collins – bass and drums
Chris Collins – guitars
Daniel Knowler – vocals.
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