Jamie Tabberer

Song of the Week

The Slips - 4 Elements To Make Good Music

"Hydrogen, helium, lithium, potassium," repeats a robotic voice over and over again on this new single from half live band/half dance act The Slips - they're the four elements referred to in the single's title.

Well, suffice to say, the lyricism on this infectious electro dance track is a bit ridiculous - but that said the voice in question makes the claim with that uncanny authority of numerous other automated voices, so you're inclined to believe it. Is it 2001's HAL? Is it Professor Stephen Hawking getting down with the kids? What was the name of that awful song in the late 90s sang by a computer, that gave all that profound advice and went to number one? We seriously can't remember. But what we will say is that this is a clever trick - you'll immediately get the feeling that you've heard this song before, which means it gets embedded in your mind that much quicker. But perhaps this familiarity means the track's unoriginal. Who knows.

But when GT caught their show at London's Cafe 1001 last month, we were pleased to learn that the band's vocal talents extend beyond a computer. They performed a stellar set with strong voices to a packed crowd with a confidence and gusto seldom seen in unsigned acts. A great deal of thought had gone into the band's image (there's something chavvie about them in a hot way - they've the swagger that numerous straight men, the kind who have the guts to wear pink, do - and they wouldn't look out of place in shell-suits) and also the set's visuals and numerous lighting tricks. Which at times overpowered the music (I do remember thinking 'Perhaps this is what having a seizure at a disco would be like' at one point) but ultimately suggested The Slips have their fingers on enough buttons to elevate their presence beyond music and become a bona fide act, that taps into concepts and zeitgeists (although computerised block patterns and acid brights is a bit 2007 maybe - will the obsession with the 80s never end?).

Making this song of the week was a tough one to call though - The Slips have also done a remix of Ellie Goulding's slightly flat last single (The Writer) - probably our least favourite song on Lights - and turned it inside out into another (better) song entirely. Although Ellie sounds even less human than usual as a result...head to the band's MySpace to check it out.

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