by Alex Lucas
Northampton’s finest returns with his third album UGLY, four years after his amazing debut Nothing Great About Britain and 2 years after his unfortunately messy sophomore record TYRON. This is definitely a return to the kind of cultured madness which made Slowthai so irresistible when he first exploded in 2019. Slowthai once again shows himself to be a glorious amalgamation of the rawest elements of alternative British music in the last 25 years, The Streets and The Prodigy especially come to mind when I listen to him.
Slowthai is at his electric best on this record, his vocal delivery is assertive, sitting on top of these pulsating beats, which was apparent in the singles dropped prior to the full LP. For example, ‘Feel Good’ is just as catchy as it is angsty, and ‘Selfish’ is a rager you can’t help but move to. These were a great precursor to what has thankfully been another excellent record from Slowthai. ‘HAPPY’ is another strong track around the midpoint of the album, thrusting the album towards its conclusion, most notably the track ‘Tourniquet’, a stunning combination of Slowthai’s darkest and most compelling oratory moments on the record. From front to back, make no mistake, this album will make its mark. As usual with Slowthai, the subject matter is at times nihilistic but feels absolutely essential to the overarching concept of the project, I think most notably on the brilliant ‘Never Again’.
To try and tell you what genre this fits into would be tough because ultimately it doesn’t, but it’s the energy and braggadocio which made punk so enthralling in the late 1970s combined with everything worthwhile which has emerged in the UK since. Above all, it’s a really enjoyable, mostly high-tempo album which I thoroughly enjoyed and consequently recommend to you.