When it comes to hardcore there are a lot of tropes which draw people to the genre. The aggression, the passion, the political nature of the material, there are a myriad of reasons why people fall in love with the genre. But one this it always should be and what makes it stand out is fun.
Now this may sound strange for a genre, which on the surface, is about going against the grain and being underground. But when hardcore is fun it emits a certain kind of joy to the listener.
For German groovers, SLOPE, they have certainly embraced the fun element of their music with their debut full length Street Heat.
The four piece blend together heavy breakdowns with funky bass riffs, which on paper should not go together, but Slope make it work seamlessly.
After a brief intro track of Upbeat, Slope really kick into gear straight off the bat with Truth Machine, which opens with a really cool panning guitar riff before launching into a frantic fast packed, skate punk, style song. The chorus of the song will have you both wanting to two-step as well as sing aloud the words “Truth Machine”.
Even though comparisons to bands such as Turnstile, Snapcase and Higher Power are easy to make, what make’s Slope more interesting is they aren’t afraid to show of other influences throughout the record.
For example the track Purple Me feels like the bands love letter to the Beastie Boys, while on I’m Fine there is a clear nod to early System Of A Down in the breakdown riff.
But for all the fun, and brightness of the music which Slope are producing it has some direct and tough issues at it’s heart.
The band take a socially critical approach to their, regardless of whether it is fake news, internet addiction, social pressure or criticism of politics, as well as also looking at the internal the problems people have with themselves.
However, these issues aren’t rammed down your neck, instead are presented in digestible chunks, sprinkled with groovy heavy riffs, and catchy rhythms.
And they aren’t even afraid to make fun of themselves, when the introduction of a cheesy “ladies and gentleman let me introduce you to the Slope Gang” is heard before a beefy beatdown in Skunks, really made me chuckle, but it seems to work with the make up of the song and the album as a whole.
What Slope has managed to achieve in Street Heat is 12 tracks of versatile hardcore which will keep surprising you at every turn. There isn’t a single track on this album which won’t have you thinking “how have they made that work”, but it will have you nodding your head and thinking of brighter days where you can grab your skateboard and go cursing in the sun.