‘And Now The Air Is Clearing’
The opening riff on Lower Slaughter’s debut album brazenly and beautifully starts like the classic notes to a seriously fucking cool moment in a Tarantino Grindhouse movie where a whole bunch of folk are about to get sonically slaughtered in the grungiest and most frenzied way possible, as the distortion increases, the carnage rises as the heads fall. It is merciless with it’s integrity and drive as the searing vocals by lead singer Sinead Young roar like a banshee across this onslaught. The wail of a banshee normally herald your imminent death, but here you just smile and run headfirst into the maelstrom, and one of the best tracks of 2017.
Such is the energy, clarity and vitality of ‘What Big Eyes’ (2017), that the album reminds me of a tradition in the Austrian mountains where despite the metres deep snow across the horizon, every morning all the house windows would be opened wide to flush the dead night air out with the heart defibrillator fresh shock of cold winds jump starting your day and renewing your lust for life. The hills are alive with heavy riffed sludge.
The album title may sound like a Brothers Grimm story, and indeed there are elements of apparent witchcraft (Caliban and the Witch), ghosts (Bone Meal), death (Tuberculosis) and werewolves (Teeth) strewn throughout the journeys, they work both on a gleeful surface storytelling level, but also with a shrewder and rewarding depth, such as the burning of apparent witches in ‘Caliban and the With’ could easily be about modern bigotry and suppression of women in general. Thankfully the purity of Sinead’s Glasgow brogue and words slice through any attempt at white washing, her cry not only points out the Emperor is a fallacy, but it shredds his ignorant nakedness into a pile of entrails.
The rawness and vitriolic honesty of the vocals are perfectly matched with bone crunching riffs, bass and drums that effectively work like a remote controlled Hurricane sweeping up all asunder, trashing it about into chaos, but this carnage brings mosh pit joy and euphoria, the only destruction that happens is the death to facades and lies. There are hints of Black Sabbath, Nirvana and even the hallucinogenic qualities of Jim Morrison’s mind quests in the Doors, indeed the path to enlightenment may indeed be through distortion.
Flush was lucky enough to catch Lower Slaughter at their recent album launch gig at DIY Space London down Bermondsey way. A really nice venue indeed that aptly has the refreshingly rough and ready vibes of Washington hardcore basement parties. The album production also perfectly matches the unmitigated and unfettered live force that is the band. What was also great was to hear Sinead warming up in the sound check where you could hear how delicate and gentle her voice range can go, prior to standing Boadicea like to lead us all into battle. And once you hear Lower Slaughter and see them live, you will rightfully follow them into any battle for virtue. Now open those windows wide, and blast out your home with ‘What Big Eyes’, and feel alive.
10/10 Lower Slaughter ‘What Big Eyes’ is out now on Box Records.