“The improvement in the abilities of Slam is easy to see, but will it cut the mustard in Danceland? ”
“The improvement in the abilities of Slam is easy to see, but will it cut the mustard in Danceland? “
Slam – Year Zero
This is a return for Scottish duo Slam who are known, as their name ingeniously suggests, for their slamming tracks which do nothing much different than slam. Their former works weren’t warmly welcomed by critics, who usually found time to slate them off as nothing more than four-to-the floor beat merchants.
This album was to promise more, certainly the cast of featuring singers is nothing to be sniffed at. Again Tyrone Palmer, from Felix da Housecat fame, appears for Slam together with Envoy, Elbee Bad, Billy Ray Martin and Ann Saunderson. Tyrone Palmer sings on the already well-known ‘This World’ despite trite lyrics and a slight pong of Stilton. Envoy makes ‘Fast Lane’ into something quite pleasing to the ear as does Elbee Bad in ‘Metropolitan Cosmopolitan’, then leading on to futuristic retro-like ‘Blow Your Mind’. By now it seems that Slam have ventured into lands anew, and instead of fumbling around in the dark they take a good stab at it, albeit with inspiration from other artists, Chicago house producers, Tom Tom Club and Demon to name a few. They used to jab and poke feebly with hard and fast beats all missing the target, now there is more sense of direction and purpose hitting closer to the spot. The vocal track, ‘Lie To Me’, with Ann Saunderson does leave itself open for some excellent remixes, as do other parts of the album. The improvement in the abilities of Slam is easy to see, but will it cut the mustard in Danceland? Well, we will have to wait. There are glimmering moments of electronic bliss throughout the album but a (minority) part of it smacks of mouldy old cheddar in a handbag.
The thing for me is, however much I do like most of the album I feel that they should be doing better by know. The next album may cause waves slamming into the shores of the listening public instead of mere ripples.
Words; James Staveley