The New Slave

Bringing You A Brighter Tomorrow

Written by: BV on 04/03/2013 17:44:20

In this day and age there has recently been a boom in bands that are willing to dabble, or should I say indulge themselves completely into the wonderful sonic mayhem that is psychedelic music in all its various forms. The New Slave is certainly no exception, and unlike many of their contemporaries they don’t seem hell-bent on staying true to the retro-infused psychedelia which is actually quite refreshing to begin with. Much like their contemporaries in Tame Impala for example, they seem to have incorporated an oddly experimental, almost electronica-induced soundscape into the mix which psychedelic purists (much like myself) might have any number of reasons to loathe. Oddly enough however, I find that this particular genre-twist is what attracts me the most to this album.

Granted, I am a sucker for retro-style psychedelic tunes but when I hear a track like “Love Is the Answer, Benjamin” I am instantly drawn into the heavily trance inducing, droning soundscape that The New Slave manages to create. Like many other psychedelic tracks, it is opened with an acoustic guitar just strumming quietly away while slowly, but steadily being supported by reverb and echo-drenched vocals that tend to have a dreamy quality to them. This dreamscape is only the beginning though, as the track gradually morphs into a heavily psychedelic droning sequence with stripped down drumming and banks of keyboards just creating these mind-expanding textures as the lyrics once again enter the picture, supported by an amazing low key fuzz-guitar.

Not all the tracks on “Bringing You a Brighter Tomorrow” are as amazing as “Love is the Answer, Benjamin” though. As the album progresses I am slowly starting to hear why there aren’t more bands that are exploring the more drone-oriented part of psychedelic music these days. The music soon tends to be too repetitive which badly hurts the dynamics of the album – a psychedelic album that is trance-inducing is one thing, but to be lulled to sleep at points is certainly not the desired effect. Unfortunately though, that is the case with the track called “This Monster Must Be Destroyed”. This drone piece is heavily low key and is actually stripped down to only include sparse drumming and a spoken word section, reciting something reminiscent of movie-dialogue which it probably is. At points there is also a droning synth/organ sound lurking in the background whilst never really creating any truly attention grabbing moments until it quietly segues in to the next track.

So, while I am definitely digging a lot of the ideas created on this album, there are also sides of it that I find too far out for my personal preferences. One thing is for sure though: The New Slave is a full-blown psychedelic experience to listen to with all that comes along, both good and bad and unlike their contemporaries they are indulging in a part of psychedelic music that hasn’t been replayed to death already by countless other artists. I am quite sure that I might dig out this psychedelic gem again one day, when the mood is just right and my mind is ready for the psychedelic, droning onslaught that is The New Slave.

Download: Beating the Bully, Building Spring, Love is the Answer, Benjamin
For The Fans Of: Tame Impala, Savanna, Telstar Sound Drone

Release Date 11.03.2013
Raw Onion Records

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