The Slats “Boom Patrol” is weird. The music is dancy while their lyrics are repetitive and sometimes grating. Overall, I think fans of powerpop and indie alike will appreciate the album. But I felt confused and not overly impressed by the disc. I don’t really like the vocals, it is not my style. The music has the potential to catch me, but never really does. It doesn’t sound much like it has much thought or effort backing it. The title track sounds quite a bit like the lovechild of Devo and the Beastie Boys. It is a little more tolerable than track one, but the music takes the more repetitive role in this track.
“Call My Telephone” offers a bit more for the listener, with more clear verses and a chorus. It sounds very old school, kind of channeling the Doors musically. “Ignatius” truly reminds me of Beastie Boys. I probably would have guessed that is who was singing it had I not known better. “King of Hawaii” was much better than the rest of the tracks. It has the same radio value of the Killers. The backing instruments sound a little more fluid. The track flew by much faster than the rest of the album. “Reptilium Rescue” also had a more mainstream song, the tempo was solid and consistent and again, the instruments followed along much better and the band sounded much more in synch.
The closing track had an interesting opening definitely channeling early 90s punk. The vibe continued as layers and instruments added. It made a good closing to the album, a 2-minute wrap up featuring no vocals and a thickening arrangement. The rest of the album gave me nothing to hold onto really. I feel like I never connected with the band, I didn’t understand the lyrics. The elements being used repeatedly were not solid enough to be pushed as hard as they were. The vocals sound shaky at times and off. Also, the downtrodden notes and minor chords leave me feeling dragged along and bored. The openings were usually major and promising, but took a turn somewhere in the first verse. The songs were mostly under 2 minutes, but I just couldn’t get into any of them. Positively, the Slats have mainstream potential if they tighten up the sloppy ends and maybe play down the repetition so it isn’t the only element to the music.
Top Track: King of Hawaii