Collection Review – You Slut! – Critical Meat

The beauty of music without vocals escaped me for many years, until I first heard this pretty and moody post-rock number from crescendo-core band Explosions In The Sky. Hearing those clean guitars and all the uplifting melodies changed something in me that day. Even if it was on a playlist for making listeners sad, it was triumphant in the way it sounded; rising above angry rockers that could probably have done with a haircut or two. After this, my world was opened to the wonders of post-rock, math-rock, jazz-fusion, minimalist, IDM and so many more. For that, I’d like to thank Explosions In The Sky, even if I don’t listen to their material anymore.

Enough back-story! Today, I’m going to be looking at math rockers from Nottingham (virtually on top of me), You Slut! This band are well known for turning on and attacking the cliche and the boring sub-genres of instrumental music by abusing it and dancing circles around it whilst flipping it off. No idea what I mean? It’s probably best you listen to a cliche instrumental band, with long built-ups, soundscapes and lots of twinkly guitars, like: Explosions In The Sky, for example.

And then take half the time you took from that and listen to, You Slut!

Voila! Poles apart.

I’m going to take this chance to check out their 2008 album, Critical Meat, which has some robot doodles for album art. The robots in it look inquisitive: ‘Hey! Who’s got them stylish shoes that don’t make square tracks?’

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Critical Meat showcases the versatility of this band, as they jump from moods and tempos like a sugar-charged child, while having just as much fun. From the get go of Cut & Shut By You Slut!, it’s apparent that this trip down the audio-highway will be one of jacked up volume, bumps, grinds and occasional crashes, but atleast the drivers brought the better drugs. Cut & Shut throws itself around the room with strange percussion, spidery and riffy guitars and joyful bass. To then fade out with pretty synths.

On The Count Of Thirteen takes your usual moshable riff and adds a fiddly little hook that will have you… dancing, in a peculiar manner. Saying that, it’s not long before you get a chance to bang that head in a audacious and mathematical manner. A lot of these songs follow the same formula, but instead of that formula being identical each time, it rules of the mixture; this way you get some incredible variety in such a short amount of time.

I’m not going to pretend to know about the technical wizardry that waltzes over my head without a care in the world, but I’m sure it’s there in all of its splendor. Changing tempos, time-signatures and feels keep a listener quivering with anticipation as You Slut! play sweet/bitter nothings in your ear canal. On-The-Spot Tina Turner Fine, is more than likely my favorite track from the album; it contains some kinky clean melodies and doesn’t stray from the messier side of instrumentation.

If the song titles don’t nudge and wink at the kind of music their songs make fun of, then I don’t know what does. You get the likes of Pie To The Death-Faced Indie Kid, flaunting itself around in the midst of the chaos, letting you think that there may be a message; among this bedlam of notes and maths, a middle finger is being held to the fingers up their arse indie-kids (like me). Of course, that’s just looking for meaning where it may not be. However, it does almost return to self-parody after the instrumentals get even more eclectic and tongue in cheek with the burning riffs and mad beats that run around like a drunk in a China shop. You Slut! defy convention and then eat that same convention for breakfast with a side order of whiskey and rum.

The closer on this album, feels like the most conventional of all. Mybloodyjesusexploreronfire, brings the album together, not as a manic collection of feral tunes, but as a considered piece. Whether it’s their attempt at bringing things back down to Earth, or just a change from, what we’ve gathered to be, their norm.

Critical Meat sounds like the stuff you get in the lucid dreams of being a rock-star, only the band members have all taken a few too many drugs and hit the creative nirvana; stream of musical consciousness. The sound still doesn’t care what you think though; it remains constant, unflinching and sinister minds of You Slut! As such, this review, feels useless, they’d bin this and start reading a copy of American Psycho behind Nuts.

The madness is always scariest when there’s method behind it.

Do we keep it in the collection?

Affirmative!

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