Many young bands manage to put on powerful and engaging live shows in front of small but loyal fan bases, yet when it comes to recording and releasing that first batch of songs, this is the real litmus test to show ones quality and metal.
The Greasy Slicks can be proud of their melody-rich mature sounds which, despite their youthful appearance, packs an abundance of experience and energy into the record. The album manages to capture all of their raw vigour. Yes, it is indeed a good début album.
The album opens up with ‘Hawks’, a raw and almost visceral all-out rocker. It features intricately tight riffs, melodic vocals and boasts enough energy to replace your bowl of Weetabix on a morning. Front man Jack Kendrew’s strong delivery of his vocals are as sharp as any quality blade, slicing through the track majestically. It’s just a crying shame when it’s all over. ‘Eyes Wide Black’ is a gritty number with rough edges, energetic abrasive vocals and plenty of swagger.
It’s the sign of their bluesy rock ‘n’ roll vibe coming through, yet it’s also got a somewhat poppy feel about it too. The level of musicianship on display here is absolutely top-notch. Follow-up track ‘The Willows’ sounds like the band 22:20’s reincarnated, with a well-crafted, foot-tapping country-rock sound that is most pleasing to the ears.
The band’s latest single, ‘Manipulator’, is next. It oozes with class, being almost hypnotic with its funky grooves. By this section of the album you can’t help but surrender to the ability and overall power of this young band. ‘Let Me Down’ brings the speed a notch with a mellow stripped-back blues song accompanied by the ever-questioning lyrics that is to be expected with this type of music. There’s also the welcomed addition of a deliciously long wailing guitar solo from Kendrew. ‘Barefoot’ is a song that you imagine that you would hear in a darkened bar in the middle of Texas.
It’s one of the highlights of the record, with a pinch of ZZ Top in there for good measure. A bold and invigorating song. The longest track on the album arrives in the form of ‘Street Queen’, clocking in at 6 minutes 31 seconds. Unfortunately, it begins to feel more than it’s actual length not even by the half-way point.
The vocals end after a mere 90 seconds, followed by what just feels like a 5-minute jamming session that they happened to record, deciding to place it on the album as a last-minute decision. It’s by no means a bad song at all, the quality of the playing is sublime, it just sadly becomes background music as your mind drifts elsewhere until the next track kicks in, and it does just that, as ‘Until Dawn’ picks up the pace and grungy rock elements that are bursting out of the seams.
The album closes with ‘Beggars’ and ‘ Ratatouille Papadum’, which finish the album off nicely.
This trio have the air of a seasoned band. They have gleefully blended several genres together, resulting in one damn fine album of superior music. Rock ‘n’ roll hasn’t delivered this dirty, raw energy for some time, yet the album possesses a highly polished and commercial sound to appeal to the masses.
The band themselves claim to blend blues with grunge in order to create their own unique sound. Upon reading this statement I was curious if not a little sceptical – trust me, however, when I say that it works.
They have a very distinct original sound, which is a breath of fresh air amidst all the garbage that is currently floating around. Rock ‘n’ Roll may be out of favour with the masses, but when it does get its next chance to shine, these boys will be making people sit up and take notice. As far as début albums go, ‘The Greasy Slicks’ is inspiring stuff. I can quite easily picture them playing night upon night at B.B. King’s Blues Club in America, winning over crowd after crowd.
The band have helped restore my faith in that there is quality music out there that isn’t run-of-the-mill. They’ve taken the blueprints of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, not to mention a hint of grunge and to their credit have conjured up their own unique sound. If I were to nitpick, the only negative is the first track on the album, which is 1 minute and 18 seconds of dreary pointlessness. Some may regard it as “atmospheric” or “mystical”. Either way, it’s worthless. Jolly good show, chaps. I salute you. Top marks.