Published on November 28th, 2019

The early aughts saw a huge shift in the music landscape. Factions such as pop, metal and hip hop were no longer existing just in their exclusive little corners, and perhaps we should have seen it coming with nu metal in the late ’90s, but all of a sudden all of the genres could co-exist in strange, sometimes improbable hybrid forms. The no-freaking-way strain of this tendency might have reached its insane peak with Babymetal, a trio of Japanese girls crooning about death and chocolate over grindcore beats.

So what is Slaves? The band exists square in the middle of this maelstrom of no-holds-barred, genre-mixing extremism. Pop music? Sure, why not? There will be people out there opposed to the crunchy guitars and faster syncopated rhythms, but Slaves seem to do their best to shore up any angular edges and buff out the melodies to provide a pure pop shine. The recent addition of Matt McAndrew, the season seven runner-up on NBC’s reality television sing-off, “The Voice,” certainly won’t lower the band’s profile or hurt its chances of reaching a bigger audience.

Hailing from Sacramento, the band writes music addressing heavy issues such as addiction — not unusual territory for the post-hardcore realm to which Slaves pledge their allegiance. But let’s be real here: pop music is pop music, and these dudes are 100% pop. However, the zeitgeist has been very kind to decent-looking fellas with good hair and a pop sensibility; so the future seems very bright for Slaves.

Consider catching them at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach right before they blow up. It’s a date-night kind of gig, or an occasion for meeting your future date to the arena shows that Slaves aim to be playing in between appearances on “The Bachelor” and filling in for Kelly Clarkson on “The Voice.”

On second thought, don’t bring your significant other — you may leave alone. Maybe Slaves aren’t post-hardcore so much as they inspire post-hardcore songs … good pop music can do that, you know.

Slaves play an 18+ show with Fame On Fire, Hometown Losers, Vagrant Son and Bianca Jazmine 8pm Friday December 6 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach. ~ Tim Moffatt

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