A more than welcome return to the recording world for the Slits: their first full studio album since their 1981 split and that years 'Return of the Giant Slits' LP. This collection of songs is an eclectic fusion of all the sounds and styles that have influenced or been a part of their musical make up over the years - together or not. The most obviously Slits sounding track is 'Reject' and the title track, whilst other tracks display attempts at dub, Dancehall, Punk, ragga and more - with the ever present influence of reggae driving through their musical veins. Anyone who has ever enjoyed the Slits during the past will surely find plenty within this new work to enjoy. A great return and much better than the incohesive'Return of the Giant Slits' LP, this outing much more deserving of the Return banner!
The Slits - Trapped Animal (Sweet Nothing) Their first new album for 25 years, The Slits reformed in 2006, but their return to the studio has been slow. That's not a bad thing. A reunion like this needs to be thought through properly. It's all very well getting back together, playing a few dates and rediscovering a bit of the old magic, but recording new material, and potentially messing with the legend; that's not to be rushed into.
Happily, they've got away with it and just as before, they've plenty to say. "Ask Ma" is a controlled rant about certain sorts of misogynistic men. "Lazy Slam" extols the virtues of comfy sexual shenanigans, and "Pay Rent" is about just that. Indeed they cover the majority of subjects that you'd expect The Slits to cover, and musically they're the same genre-bending outfit they always were, though with their roots reggae core intact. But, some of the rough edges are missing (and sorely missed). This is to be expected. They must have practiced at some point over the previous 20-odd years, and a little of the knife-edge excitement is gone. Still, better to have them back making records and playing gigs (Leicester soon, please), than not, and for all my minor reservations, Trapped Animal is spending a lot of time in my CD player.
The sad news of Ari Up's death at an early age was shocking but at least The Slits recorded some new and fresh material for us to remember her by. The Slits never did things any other way but their own. Who would have thought that the punk thrash would be remodelled into reggae for the album "Cut"?
This album takes all the influences from dub reggae, world music and back to punk. It's not a bad album but it does meander on some tracks. Ari is not afraid to say what she wants!
Ari will be sorely missed and her unique style can never be replaced. Rest in Peace.