Album Review: Killaflaw – Sleaze & Grit

Sleaze & Grit

sleaze-and-gritReleased September 7th 2015

Words: Gary Lambert

In the modern music world Dance Music has become a monster dominating all that surrounds it. Propelled by the power of Las Vegas’ EDM scene it has become the music of everywhere. As the scene expands though we get a shinier product, polished and engineered to suit the maximum number of tastebuds. A product that is so far away from the origins of sweaty basement clubs and music as authentic as Howling Wolf picking up a guitar and plucking away. What dance music needs at the moment is a little bit of Sleaze and Grit to take it away from Celine Dion and If You’re Happy and You Know It (Clap Your Hands).

Harking back to the influence of the late nineties when dance music fused with rock and created some of the most scintillating sounds of the era, Liverpool’s Killaflaw, have fired a shot across the bows of those making dance music loud twee. Sleaze and Grit is right. This album is for being in a tightly packed, dark sweaty room with your hands in the air and dancing in a sordid mosh pit.

My favourite aspect of this album is that whilst this is music to dance to (although do not expect to see a Cha Cha Cha on Strictly to…) we are not in the world of take a sample and then Repeat, Repeat, Rave and Sleep. These are songs constructed as traditionally as most other guitar bands, so with winning tracks such as Milk and Whiskey there is enough to entertain a wide variety of music fans.

Whilst Killaflaw have been around for a few years now, Sleaze & Grit is their debut album and positively it sounds both exciting and comfortable rather than just a stale play of tracks and ideas you have heard before. With all the different influences showcased on this record, there is hope for the future too. It would be great to see what could be done on the next step of the ladder if they were able to bring in some different musicians, sounds and collaborators. But that is getting ahead of ourselves when we should just be listening to the musical riot of Set Me On Fire.

That said, for me the musical highlight of the album has to be the aural explosion of lead single Own Way. Loud, angry, aggressive and sexy music grinding against a raw rock vocal, it is passionate and powerful but pleasures let too. It is the kind of song that gets you excited about driving with your mates with the bass booming and you being helpless to do anything other than put your foot down (within legal limits) and scream along at the top of your lungs. In fact, I am probably too old for a song that is this exciting.

If you are after a recommendation for an album to buy I say go for Sleaze & Grit if you want dance music that gets the blood pumping and the confidence flowing. But if you want dance music that you can listen to wearing a bikini or overpriced pair of shorts well this isn’t going to look good on the photos. Sleaze & Grit or clean and polished? Let’s just fuck shit up, have a good time and forget about taking pictures.

Listen to Own Way here:
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