Sleemo the alternative rock machine has returned in mid 2021 with their latest EP, Degradation, which landed on the 9th of September. The new EP follows hot off the heels of the well supported radio single ‘Heavenly Home’ which was released last year and picked up interest from stations like Amazing Radio and also appearing on BBC Introducing.
The meaning and dimensions of ‘degradation’ centres around mental health struggles which like a vast majority of us and like the band members themselves have lived with during our lives, Sleemo have stated that they feel they have continued to push the boundaries of their music whilst remaining faithful to their post-hardcore and punk roots. So the best way to explore if these new boundaries have been pushed or broken is to hear out the tracks.
Instantly it becomes apparent that the boundaries have definitely been pushed and moved around, the opening track ‘Mind Bender’ is a hive of energy like bees seeking nectar for their queen; Sleemo gathers a whole load of textures of sound and brings them to one place and creates a heavy driven song backed up by lyrics which drills deep down into your emotions. The lyrics proved a personal connection between the listener and band, which gives Sleemo a concert credibility from the get go.
‘Rabbit Run’ has a post dark metal feel with it’s intense riffs and constant drum beat which is the real foundation of the track, the flow of ‘Rabbit Run’ is at such ease with itself, you can imagine this track having the same amount of attention from radio stations as its predecessor ‘Heavenly Home’. The last minute of the track is a blasting metal roar, you can understand that this record will set a light a mosh pit when played live.
The forebodingly named track ‘Dead Fish’ enters the show as track three on the EP, with slower tempo sections within the song making the record have a more menacing vibe and added with the words from the vocal display it sets the mind back on the context of what has been portrayed to you. The only constructive criticism for this song is the fact that the perfect ending happened around 3 minutes and 50 seconds of the track, then an instrumental elongation of the track to over 5 minutes kind of felt like an indulgence that didn’t need to be explored by Sleemo.
‘Imitate the thief’ is the fantastic ending to the EP, grabbing all the fine qualities of the songs before and then mixing them together, with a more focused punk sound and neo metal forming of the vocals and lyrics. All in all this is a nice EP which sets a fire under everyone to follow these new boundaries and be part of the journey.
Written by Kess Anthony
Source for Artwork by Frederick Hoffman