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Slumb Party are an off-kilter indie-punk band from Nottingham, who play a sort of wobbly punk rock similar to Shopping or Roxy Girls. Spending Money is their new album which, in their jagged and awkward British noisenik sort of way, deals largely with themes of just trying to get by in a greedy, corporate world. Any album that has the lyric, “Can you buy me a pint / And I’ll pay you back”, taken from single ‘Go To Work’, has my attention!
Released: January 2020 Cat: DRUNKENSAILOR116 Label: Drunken Sailor
1. Go To Work 2. All These Boxes 3. Salaryman 4. Shingles Bell 5. Time To Stop 6. Existence 7. Back Stabber 8. Sound Off 9. Go Go Go 10. Knife & Heart 11. Spending Money
We’re in the midst of a post-punk revival, seen best in the rise of bands such as Black Midi and IDLES, unthinkable just five years ago. The outcasts and weirdos reign supreme over alternative rock once more. Nottingham’s Slumb Party are a part of this wave, a five-piece ticking nearly every box one might expect of post-punk: rattling drums, off-kilter guitar leads and overwhelming sense of tension and urgency are all present and correct. Squid is the most obvious comparison, although it’s not difficult to hear some Bodega too, and perhaps a dash of Sports Team in the vocal performances. Spending Money is lean for a sophomore record; nearly every track is below 3 minutes, and they seem to run into each other at full pelt. This gives the first half of the album a sense of kineticism, but cracks show by the halfway point- it’s difficult for the formula to feel as original by the eighth track. When I think of other bands in the scene that have nailed albums, they punctuate the full-throttle stuff with slower material, or attempt to construct an over-arching narrative. Unfortunately, Slumb Party do neither, and the album suffers for it. There are powerful tracks: opener ‘Go to Work’ is a pummelling critique of the gig economy, and ‘Existence’ brings to mind Shame. But the rest of the material here isn’t quite original enough to stand out. Going into this album, I thought I’d find 29 minutes too short; coming out, it feels nearly too long. Spending Money has a strong opening salvo, but overall proves a too exhausting to be truly enjoyable. Of course, perhaps that’s the point. This is, after all, an album about the drudgery of millennial life - Slumb Party aren’t to blame.