Album Review: Tasmania/lutruwita’s Slag Queens release sophomore long-player, Favours

The Breakdown

Rough Skies Records 8.5

nipaluna/Hobart-based post-punk outfit, Slag Queens have released their scorching second album on Rough Skies Records.

Mixed in with the distinctive vocals of Lucinda Shannon and the largely powerful and at times, pounding rhythms provided by the bass (Shannon) and drums (Claire Johnston), the addition of relative newcomers, Wesley Miles on synth and Amber Perez-Wright on guitar/bass has rounded out the band’s sound since 2019’s debut album, You Can’t Go Out Like That, announced Slag Queens to the world.

Whilst Slag Queens are inspired by DIY no-wave music and the feminist politics of Riot Grrl, much of their music bears the hallmarks of pioneering 80’s bands such as Joy Division/New Order, Pylon, The Cure, The Raincoats and even hints of earlier B-52’s

Lucinda Shannon reflects on the album “Sadly, while reading through my lyrics today with a compassionate eye I can feel the exhaustion and pessimism that’s been the wallpaper since 2020. I see it as a sense of claustrophobia at living in a shrinking world. This shrinking has sent me (and I doubt I am alone here) inward. 

Looking at it [the album] now, I see and hear an older person, who was not able to reach that place of excitement for the possibilities of change. An older person who sees the work and can’t comprehend how to do it and so moves into a place of seeing things in single frames: the frame of the page, the window frame, the frame of the screen, a frame around possibility, a frame around time. 

I write songs about break ups, books, and tv shows. This album is less about hope and being strong and bolshy in the face of the odds, and more about disillusion: pissy, listless distractions, parties that felt like a waste of time, dissatisfaction and spiritual discomfort – spiritual itchiness (also sometimes diagnosed as anxiety). 

Angsty. Itchy. Frustrated. That’s how I describe this album. Even the last song, Hand of Favour, feels like I am telling you something that you already know and may leave you feeling restlessly bored. Like, duh, yes let’s rob the millionaires already. We know what needs to happen but not how to do it and so everything ends up feeling like armchair complaints. Even writing that now, I know it’s not the TRUTH. There are a myriad of revolutions happening all over the world. I’m sad because this record isn’t about them – but what it’s like to feel far away from them. 

‘Favours’ was recorded and mixed by Jordan Marson at Studio HMY with additional recording by the band in various sharehouses across nipaluna/Hobart. Album art by Laura Gillam and music videos for ‘Excuses’ by Keith Deverell and ‘Dogs’ by Jo Shrimpton (Flare Productions). 

Favours can be purchased digitally here, and on vinyl here.

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