You could make the case that Slaves to Gravity are the UK's best kept secret at the moment. Forming from the ashes of the impressive Ariel-X and the sheer rock'n'roll force that was The*Ga*Ga*s, Slaves to Gravity's first album, Scatter the Crow, was an impressive document of a band with the bit well and truly between their teeth. With high profile producer Bob Marlette (Alice Cooper, Heaven's Basement) in tow, Underwaterouterspace shows a band really spreading its wings to deliver one of the most outstanding albums of the year so far.
The album kicks off all guns blazing with a one-two punch of the sledgehammer riff attack of Good Advice, followed by the anthemic first single, Honesty. Both songs have giant riffs and huge, soaring choruses, the likes of which could get stuck in your head for weeks. The next three songs carry on the hard rock assault, delivering yet more riffs, grooves and absolute monster-sized choruses.
But these guys aren't just one trick ponies. The second half of the album delivers something a little more experimental but all the same very impressive. Misery Pills sits on a menacing groove before another trademark chorus breaks through. Even in The*Ga*Ga*s days it was clear that Tommy Gleeson had a good voice on him, but on this album, he really shines, delivering some amazing performances, particularly with the falsetto stylings of most recent single Silence Now.
The final three songs on the album once more settle into the big rock song attack formula demonstrated with the opening half of the album, with album highlight Lily Liver breaking into yet another simply astounding chorus and a great guitar solo, Last Ignition once more showcasing those jaw dropping vocals, and the last track, This Time It's Terminal, going into another dimension entirely with a beautifully epic piano crescendo. These guys sound huge. It's a travesty that they aren't.
As if you needed any more reasons to snap this up, the CD comes with a bonus DVD of all their music videos (both from Scatter the Crow up until Silence Now, their last single release) as well as a few Making Of features. Slaves to Gravity are perhaps the most interesting and inventive English rock band about at the moment. Underwaterouterspace goes a long way to proving that. You'd be foolish to miss this one.