A young band that are truly promising are West Yorkshire Mirfield/Heckmondwike band The Slates (Joe Briggs, Jude Wales, Louis Barnes and Zak Oldroyd). I know these 15/16 year olds have been chomping at the bit to get their debut single Try That recorded and released, and while the lads might well be more than a bit sick of the wait, they are stoked it is finally out there. From this side of the stage in the mosh, it has well been worth the wait.
Try That is a nice and tight punky banger. I love the chopping riffs and that type of pulsing sound you get when you are doing 100 down the motorway with the windows open. With Try That, I’m that dog you see on the road; my ears are flapping in the slipstream out of the window and there’s an ecstatic expression on my face. To match the fast vibe of the song, Louis Barnes has a vocal that many a singer would kill to have, there’s such a good tone to his strong vocal, and there’s an attitude in the delivery that’s straight from the Billy Idol cool school. If you have it flaunt it, as Billy might say.
Not only that, the lyrics right fair float. There’s atmospheric imagery about dunes and a scary deep black sea. I know a lot of bands are happy for the listener to make out their own meaning. For me, the lyrics are about that weird scary jump of trust you have to make when you first find a love. These imaginative lyrics bode well for the future, The Slates are deliciously loose but imaginative with their words.
That little thing in your hand
I’m so damn scared
My sight is blared
Oh it’s a heart
Made me feel quite scarred
No it’s a dart
Hit me quite hard
The Slates say they wrote the chord inspired by Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy in a day, the lyrics followed in a week, but with the delays of lockdown the recording process took a year. The band are inspired by other fresh sounding distinctive indie bands such as Catfish and the Bottlemen and Red Hot Chilli Peppers and then more loose sounds of the likes of the Stone Roses and the Smiths. I can’t say The Slates particularly sound like any of these bands, but their fans will be comfortable in The Slates company.
* Images are taken from the band’s social media accounts