Manc 4 piece Slydigs believe in the transformative, trouble startin’, street struttin’ power of rock n’roll. Diving straight into a sea of blistering blues rock influences; the swagger of Give Out But Don’t Give Up era Primal Scream; the lip curled snarl of Jagger; the whiskey yowl of classic Guns n Roses- at their best Slydigs deliver face smacking thrills in pop sized packages. Recent single Electric Love has the catchy riffs and cheeky ska punk rhythm of a genuine hit. Whoever is on production duties has done a great job- the mix is dirty enough to keep that all important guttersleaze edge, but sharp enough for the pounding rhythm section to fill indie discos ‘cross the land.
The band inhabit their songs with a pleasing arrogance- this is, after all, rock & roll. Apologetic self-deprecation can be saved for sweater clad folk revivalists.. But still, at times debut Never To Be Tamed doesn’t quite live up to the mystical rock n’ roll messiah role the band so clearly aspire to- singer Dean Fairhurst may have the cocksure delivery of the newly rocking out Arctic Monkeys, but he doesn’t (yet) have the lyrical dexterity that marks out Alex Turner from his contemporaries. Occasional references to ‘Krishna’, and a girl who ‘holds eternity in the palm of her hand’ are more cliché than Crowley, and fall short of the mind expanding head trip Slydigs aspire to. I found myself wondering- ‘why exactly would you colour your soul black and gold?…. WTF does that even mean…?’ Maybe I’ m missing something…
Small gripe aside, this is a strong debut, and a fair opening salvo on England’s confused rock scene. Final track The Love That Keeps On Giving is a climatic finale, cut from the DNA of Sympathy For the Devil ( ‘woooo woooo’ backing vocals included) it closes the album on an escalating, triumphant peak. Ones to watch.