Album review: Slope – Freak Dreams

German funk-metallers Slope bring a party spirit and juicy riffs aplenty to second album, Freak Dreams…

Album review: Slope – Freak Dreams
Emma Wilkes

Funk-metal’s mostly been left in the dust, shoved aside while nu-metal, its younger cousin in baggy jeans and chains, reigned supreme. But while nu-metal’s swung back in recent years, few have aspired to make metal properly funky again. Until now. German metal quintet Slope are in a lane pretty much by themselves, but their second full-length doesn’t feel at any point like it’s been exhumed. It’s slick and modern as anything, though not without flaws.

Particularly in its opening tracks, Freak Dreams is buckets of big, dumb fun. Opener Talk Big shimmies in with a rather impressive twang to its riffs (with a splash of slap bass thrown in, because funk), while It’s Tickin’ swaggers and stomps its way into a crunchy chorus (with one line serving a cheeky nod towards Run DMC’s It’s Tricky). Elsewhere, Nosedive brings not just tasty guitar licks but a sense of rowdiness, with a breakdown made for two-stepping. Intriguingly, it’s got a similar sun-drenched, carefree energy to Turnstile’s GLOW ON, but not to the point of blatant imitation – instead, it adds a sense of freshness.

Sometimes, however, they trip up. Slope never claim to be the world’s most eloquent band, but True Blue’s flirty lyrics are the wrong side of cheesy – 'The colour of your eyes represents my mood / Radio playing the midnight blues' is maybe not what you’d want to be serenade with on Valentine’s Day. Every so often, the band also jam together verses that don’t fit with a chorus, or kneejerk into a different sound or pace. Closer Out Of The Blue Into The Black switches gears numerous times and becomes a clunky, bizarre mess as a result, least of all when a section of stop-start chords might have you checking if your speakers still work.

When they keep it simpler, though, they’re far more effective. At the very least, they’re refreshing.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Turnstile, Ocean Grove, BLACKGOLD

Freak Dreams is released on February 2 via Century Media

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