Slaves To Gravity

Scatter The Crow

Written by: TL on 29/10/2008 00:54:01

A band that have been kicking up some dust around the English music scene of late are 2006-born London hardrockers Slaves To Gravity, who've manage to steer clear of all the trends of the now, and land themselves a good amount of hype on account of their debut album "Scatter The Crow". An album they've actually been promoting since it's release back in March, making me have to admit that I've been somewhat late in noticing them, only picking them up on my radar little over a month ago.

While some might ignorantly suspect otherwise, Slaves To Gravity actually have more to blame for their fame than the dark eyes and cheeky pirate moustache of frontman Tommy Gleeson (though they probably didn't harm them either). In fact, amidst the present poppunk/metalcore-mania, this band is going to seem like the second coming of Christ to any fan of all the Bush's, the Chevelle's, the Pearl Jam's, the Taproot's and the Fuel's of the 90's wave of American post-grunge bands (the list could've gone on mind you). Apart from those bands though, Slaves' mostly sound like a more groovy take on old Foo Fighters, if not like a modern version of the much missed Soundgarden. Guitars and bass chug away with heavily distorted grooves while Tommy does a fine job at the creaky grunge-style vocals that seemingly haven't been heard in a 'relevant' band since forever. The result is songs that dirty and sleazy as they are, manage to both revive the grunge-feeling and avoid sounding like a retrospective. In itself an impressive accomplishment I'd say, especially given that the album is produced and released by the band themselves on their own label - Maybe a testament to how little interest labels have in this kind of music these days?

In any case, I do still have some bones to pick with this band. First off, Tommy is audibly a guitarist first and a vocalist second, and this can be heard in the songs, as the instrumental part of the band's sound is dominant throughout in the songwriting, leaving you wishing that his vocals, well done as they are, would have gotten a bit more room to shine here and there. Maybe that would also have helped on the second problem, that which presents itself in the songs' insufficient ability to manifest as strong separate identities in your mind. I suspect however, that the main reason for this is that way too much of this album drones by at mid-tempo, basically only really deviating on the eleventh track "Burning Robe", which in turn presents itself as a welcome variation to the band's style. Otherwise the opening pair "Heaven Is A Lie" and "She Says" along with "Doll Size", boast the vocal lines that to me have seemed the most memorable and thus lifted them out from the mass of the other tracks.

However, it seems rather clear to me that "Scatter The Crow", as a debut album, isn't meant to display a band at the height of their game yet, rather it is a stylistic statement, bringing to your attention that the alternative grunge/hardrock sound of the 90's is still alive and relevant, and if you have any love for the band's Slaves To Gravity must count among their inspirations, that should be enough for you. The more casual readers can listen and take note, and then eagerly await a sophomore album where the band hopefully realise the fullness of their sound's potential.


Download: Heaven Is A Lie, She Said, Doll Size, Burning Robe
For The Fans Of: Bush, Chevelle, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden

Release Date 31.03.2008
Gravitas Records

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