Music Reviews
Sluts of Trust

Sluts of Trust

We Are All Sluts of Trust

Chemikal Underground

Sluts of Trust are just what I’ve been looking for. Fact: The Scottish pervo-rockers have rehabilitated the seemingly overworked duo format. Fact: They look fucking awesome. Drummer Anthony O’Donnell looks like an urban CroMagnon punk/metalhead, which coincidentally is just the way he drums. Guitarist/vocalist John McFarlane is an absolute vision of corruption, with short, slicked hair, a John Waters mustache and gobs of eyeliner, plus natty threads – he’s like a disco apocalypse. Ergo, they visually ooze fucking sleazetastic menace… and sonically too! But it’s not just menace that hangs in the air over every note, like a dense fog of cheap cologne desperately applied to cover last night’s sins and vices (you know that’s totally what they smell like!), their music is, in pretty much equal measure, heavy, scary, quirky, demanding and playful.

Sex. Sex. Body movie music. We Are All Sluts of Trust is like a shotgun wedding between Texas barbarians Scratch Acid (it’s about damn time for a Scratch Acid revival!) and Scottish shout-y surrealists Prolapse, with the wedding party completely composed of the crème de la crème of Amphetamine Reptile Records. But that’s not even close to summing it up. O’Donnell pounds the fuck out of the drums like Keith Moon stealing all of (Slayer legend) Dave Lombardo’s best tricks, with McFarlane strangling all manner of angular shapes and screeching noise out of his guitar while simultaneously pushing himself through amazing vocal workouts that confound Thom Yorke, Freddie Mercury, David Yow, Black Francis and Mark E. Smith all at once. A soaring falsetto gives way to authoritarian shouts, unhinged screams or a soft Scottish brogue murmuring threats. Sluts of Trust are the sound of gritty exhilaration. The thrill of bank robbery or an illicit affair.

Take the album as a dizzying whole or as a series of whisky and sex-soaked parts. I have to take it as one flick-knife sharp complete statement of violence, or I could go on for pages and pages about the whiplash guitar that shifts from heavy metal to quiet chiming within seconds, the cut-n-paste lyrical surrealism, the use of negative space and ambience as a fourth instrument, McFarlane’s bird-on-a-wire vocal performances that seemingly take in all extremes and influences to come out the other side as a completely new standard/aesthetic, jazz-punk drumming that shifts timing on whims, songs that manage to be primitive and dizzyingly progressive at the same time…

Up there with the Raincoats and the Melvins and Antony in terms of sheer originality and majesty of intentions and execution with a raw humanity that in itself borders on alien-ness. Easily the strongest debut I’ve heard in recent memory.

Chemikal Underground:

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