Sex Slaves, Bite Your Tongue

Sex Slaves, Bite Your Tongue

What happened to ’80s glam punk rock, you ask? Well, I’m going to tell you: it came back as a band called Sex Slaves. I know, I know — how could a sneering, leering, punk band with the moniker Sex Slaves be any good? Believe me, the name’s not just a gimmick. The band sings most of their songs about drinking, girls, and nocturnal emissions. You get what you’d expect, but surprisingly, the Slaves also give you a little more.

There are a few particularly impressive songs on Bite Your Tongue, and I’d advise checking these out somehow before you buy the album. “Kiss Me” is an acoustic ballad that has a punk attitude and a Guns ‘N Roses feel, and “Going Out Tonight” has that mawkish Oi! feel to it that makes you sentimental for circle pits, stage dives, and Operation Ivy T-shirts. My favorite track, though, is “Thank You Lord for Jack Daniels,” although I’m not sure I like it more because I drink a lot of Jack, or because I like the down-home feel of the bluesy punk-style anthem. I was surprised by this curveball track’s presence on the album, really — the band incorporates a blues harmonica that gives the song that bluesy feel of an old bar, and the chant vocals add to the drinking song vibe of the track. This song transcends the liquor-versus-beer barrier. Even if you’re just a gin and tonic person, I think you’ll enjoy the simple and endearing message of “Thank You Lord for Jack Daniels.” The lyrics pull you in, and the singing hits all the right notes.

As for singer/guitarist Eric 13, he reminds me of Tim Armstrong of Rancid. He’s got that “chortle” down (is that a word?). All I’ll say is that smoking two packs a day will definitely do some work on your vocal chords. Although I should ask the reader to remember that this album is by a band called Sex Slaves. This isn’t opera. You get the classic, raw punk rock voice and, of course, don’t forget the attitude and obvious self-indulgence.

Beyond the standout tracks, unfortunately, I’d have to say that as an album, Bite Your Tongue is a tossup. “Contagious,” for one, is a cheesy Bon Jovi-style song — when Eric 13 sings “Your love is contagious,” I almost lose it. It’s so cheesy I’m not sure whether the band did it for the cloying affect or because they really are that cheesy. In any case, most of the songs are exercises in hyperbole — if they do a song like Kiss, Buck Cherry, or Rancid, it sounds like they’re trying to outdo the former bands. I know Sex Slaves are purposefully self-indulgent, and I know they know that I know that. It makes me hate them a little but also admire them for the fact that they could care less. They’re coarse, promiscuous, and rowdy, and they want to tell you all about it. They’re Sex Slaves.

(Radical Records -- 77 Bleecker St., New York, NY. 10012; http://www.radicalrecords.com/; Sex Slaves -- http://www.sexslavesnyc.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Thursday, December 14th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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