Slowcoaches' Debut Is A Delectable Rabble-Rouser
You are walking full-tilt down a busy pavement, earphones in and coat billowing in the wind. You scowl at the people who dare to dawdle in front of you. Every needling guitar line in your cochlea; every deadpan observation on the crappiness of modern life; and every pounding drumbeat pull you forward through the obnoxiously slow crowd. You are listening to Slowcoaches’ debut record, 'Nothing Gives', a breathless, 100-miles-an-hour gift of an album that is sure to soundtrack many a punk’s Christmas shopping.
It’s a bloody good, angry-walking record, but it’s so much more than that too. The London trio have, for the most part, stumbled across the magical formula of succeeding in incorporating raucous, aggressive pop riffs with singalong choruses without falling into the cheesy trappings of the rather tiresome pop-punk world.
Let’s take "Ex Head", for instance, a thrilling Undertones-meets - Yung rampage through the last forty years of rock n' roll. It’s instantly catchy, memorable and ought to soundtrack your house party. It’s the perfect pop song without ever losing its credibility – what more could you want? Again, they repeat the trick on "Raw Dealings", another blistering pop song but with a guitar line straight out of the murky post-punk world of the late 70s. Even "54", the album’s most anthemic track, still sounds like Traams crossed with a deathly, icy Dilly Dally.
That’s not to say that 'Nothing Gives' is a complete aural breeze either. There are times on challenging opener "Living Out", the breakneck-speed "Get Ripped" or the angular "Norm & Values" when Minor Threat and Dead Kennedys appear as much an inspiration as The Buzzcocks, and what a fantastic state of affairs that is.
'Nothing Gives' is a quite lovely first offering from a band with considerably more in the tank. The one criticism that will be leveled at this twelve-track-beauty is that by the end of the album, the songs do begin to merge into an undiluted mass of rattling guitar lines. That’s normal, it’s their first album. Slowcoaches have found something good and stuck with it. Stick with them and they’ll only get better.