Rising from the ashes of the sorely missed VSS, Slaves comprises the considerable talents of Dave Clifford (drums), Joshua Hughes (guitar), and Andrew Rothbard (vocals, organ). In terms of razor-sharp post-punk tension, Slaves' self-titled debut EP bears some resemblance to the VSS. Where the two differ is the type of tension both bands employ(ed): Whereas the VSS specialized in building tension between one scissor-like jab to the next, Slaves opt to weave hypnotic tension not unlike the slitting of wrists, but without a bloody mess on the floor. Hughes's gloomy, Robert Smith-esque melodies certainly contribute to the trance-inducing din, as well. A bloody shame (pun intended) Slaves is only four songs.
--Nathan T. Birk