Early this summer West Yorkshire (Mirfield/Heckmondwike) foursome, The Slates promised us a couple of bangers to kick off the release of their debut EP. These 17 year olds don’t mess around. Hot on the heels of one of the tracks of 2022; the sweet chaos of Hello, Don’t You Know, the band have followed it up with another complete banger, Shield Your Drink.
Perfect timing really, as The Slates have played some monster gigs over the summer, and seeing the buzz on the socials suggests they have deservedly won themselves a heap of new friends. You just know that the live sound of Shield Your Drink and Hello Don’t You Know rattling through the blades of grass at YNot Festival, or over the vast fabricated chamber of Leeds 02 Academy is going to set pulses racing and it’s gonna set up a reet good one.
Shield Your Drink has a classic little riff line and beat which reminds you of loads of bangers from summers past. However, The Slates have blended in more than a splash of exuberant youth, a relatable story of a day on the bevs, and an accent from the back-end of Dewsbury to make this tune totally banging, one the Slates own, and one more than a little bit special. He was having’ a right time.
Coupled with this heady mix, is a tight musical unit (the guitar of Joe Briggs, bassist Jude Wales and drummer Zak Oldroyd) with a good latitude of classy rocking out during the latter stages of the song, and some sweet harmony backing vocals behind the strong quality voice of lead vocalist Louis Barnes. These guys work hard to play this instinctively tight; they all step up and deliver.
The Slates can only get better from here, so I know that’s why there’s quite a few folk in the indie world really excited for these guys. There’s another chance to see The Slates demonstrate how good they are soon, in the amazing Oporto in the centre of Leeds (one of the top small live venues in my view). The band have a close and intimate date with the punters here on Thursday 29 September. A pretty perfect sweaty one to end the summer.
* images taken from the band’s social media.