Critical Meat reviews:
Kerrang Magazine. KKKK (4/5)
DERBY INSTRUMENTALISTS CRAM A BILLION IDEAS INTO HALF AN HOUR.
With a relentless barrage of mind-bending time changes and jagged, snaking riffs, You Slut! leave conventional musica; formulas with its pants around its ankles, shivering and confused in a dark alley. While their debut mini-album -released through Therapy? drummer Neil Cooper’s own label- will no doubt aggravate and possibly reduce some radio-rock lovers to tears, there’s a lot to be said for the complex instru-rock majesty on offer. From the pigeon-hole detonating Cut and Shut by You Slut! to the Mogwai-esque wall of noise of MyBloodyJesusExplorerOnFire, those with a taste for the unpredictable will undoubtably succumb to Critical Meat’s genre-teasing charms. You know you want it.
Big Cheese Magazine 4/5
MIDLANDS INSTRUMENTALISTS STEAK A CLAIM
You Slut! may have a name that simultaneously offends middle-England and sends my computer into a grammatically-fuelled schizoid flip -but boy is it worth it. Eschewing Post-Rock and instrumental trends to replicate Mogwai, they’ve got the angularity of At The Drive-in and playfullness of Dartz! and a desire to get heav when needs must. It’s a heady, exhilirating mix, both measured and frenetic – and it works a charm. Throw in some absurd song titles (Pie to the Death Faced Indie Kid being hte pick of the bunch) and you’ve got yourself a prime piece of meat. Rob Mair
Drummer Magazine 5/5
Out on Stressed Sumo (Neil Cooper of Therapy?), the uncompromising You Slut! have a blatant disregard for marketing and popularity, never opting for the drawn out, ethereal meanderings all to commonly used by instrumental outfits. Instad they use a blend of jugular-attacking punk/prog with melodies you’ll be whisteling for weeks. Drummer Darren Cook performs the near inpossible task of holding the arithmetic tunes together while creating bucket loads of rhythmic hooks along the way. Glorious. Go on, be a whore.
Rocksound Magazine 8/10
Derby / Nottingham quartet You Slut! ply instrumental rock that’s got guts. This aint no standard post-rock by numbers nonsense, primed for the ‘ethereal’ and ‘shimmering beauty’ cliches. So while the single ‘Mybloodyjesusexploreronfire’ effects a swirly use of feedback around its addictive chorus riff, harsher moments such as ‘Roofio Shoots, Roofio Scores’ batter your senses with fierce urgency in compositions cannily assembled by four highly accomplished musicians. If you had to attach this eight-tracker to any genre it’d be math rock, given the time signatures and tight playing. But that might be somewhat mis-leading, suggesting only wanky muso types can enjoy it. Whereas really, Critical Meat has something for everyone. Tim Newbound.
Rockfood.co.uk 5/5 (album of the month)
Almost impossible to get hold of on British shores, this release by Nottingham/Derby’s You Slut! is a masterpiece of obscenely spikey riffery. Already inspiring an entire generation of musicians in the local area with Herra Hidro and Maybeshewill citing them as an influence, it’s only the ‘self imposed’ hurdles that are holding them back.
These eight instrumental tracks (plus the two live offerings on our copy) are stacked to the rim with spacky riffs and backed up with searing melodic sections which up the ante of the definition of ‘Epic’. Its the juxtaposition of the confusion of odd time signatured riffs and forceful, flowing or driving sequences that simultaneously make this impossibly danceable, yet impossible to dance to.
The highlights here are ‘Roofio Shoots, Roofio Scores’, ’1s 2ns’ and ‘Cut and Shut by You Slut!’, but it’s the truly monumental ‘Mybloodyjesusexploreronfire’ that goes so far beyond what anyone else is doing at the moment to top off an absolutely awe-inspiring album.
Mybloodyjesusexploreronfire is something of a masterpiece in itself. It feels like travalling at immense speed through some cinematic landscape – this could have been lifted from the soundtrack to almost any epic film climax. It is that little bit diffrent to any other track on the record, but fits so perfectly at the close of the album – drawing all the threads together before it dies a quiet melodic death, leaving you aching to play through it again.
Instrumental acts always get a bit of a hard time of it – instantly being pigeon-holed with Explosions In The Sky or Godspeed (Or in the rarest of circumstances, The Shadows) – but You Slut! would find it difficult to become any more dissimilar to the stereotype. Fingers crossed for more VERY soon, and hopefully a UK release for what is (for me at least) a life changing collection of songs.
What is “math-rock”? This seemingly pervasive musical description/genre is a curious term and to the uninitiated could conjure up the sight of a) gawky fellas making tunes on abacuses or b) bearded Scottish men in lumberjack shirts pratting around with soft metal and funny time signatures. You see, it’s a daft term and one which You Slut!’s press release makes rather pained reference to. This Midlands quartet play what can be described as instrumental-pop-metal, with not a vocal in sight but plenty of buggering about with, yes, funny time signatures. Whilst this on paper all sounds rather ghastly, You Slut! get around this potential problem by not taking themselves particularly seriously (the name and the song titles alone are delightfully daft) and crafting a mini-album which is high on thrills and high on many unexpectedly catchy moments.
The first thing of note is the sheer technical proficiency of the whole thing – stripped of vocals one is left in appreciation of just how tight this lot are as they blast through 8 songs of jawbreaking riffs, ridiculous drumming and plenty of playfulness and creativity of song structure. This would all be a waste if the songs themselves weren’t worth listening to – and most of them are. YS! burst with melodic riffage in the Tom Morello mould, delivered at breakneck speed and with an appreciation of ‘what makes a good pop song’ buried underneath. The first single, MyBloodyJesusExplorerOnFire is a mighty and rather beautiful blast of shoegaze meets Slayer and displays that underneath their contrasting daftness/guitar geek shtick they have the potential to appeal to a wider audience. What on initial listening sounds like the workings of a naff in-joke, You Slut! could actually be one of British rock music’s most interesting newcomers.
YOU SLUT! – Critical Meat (Stressed Sumo) – Tight-as-you-like mathyness that’s clear, big and well on the rockout side of things, from a band with a name that is either ridiculous or inspired, depending on how compulsively you stroke your chin. Yep, You Slut don’t mess about, doing agile heaviness with a deft, easy touch. They’re fat and chunky yet bright and breezy, plonked in some happy intersection of the effing Champs and Don Caballero, leaning more to the former. Quoting Oxes as an influence, they’re more accessible because they’re more focused; if they sound like anyone, it’s a fatter Rumah Sakit. If you want to talk purist math rock, this is as good an example as any: lots of gratuitous time-changes and pointed unexpectedness, but overall tempo and volume staying the same. You Slut! do complex – but not too complex – chugging upbeat rock with neat imaginative flourishes and a sly sense of fun.