Master Slash Slave – Scandal

I sometimes wonder why I review certain albums and find myself sidelining others, even when I’m less than hugely keen on a band and/or their music, for whatever reason. Packaging and PR often has a lot to do with this, and the sleeve blurb on my review copy of Scandal goes something like “Kraftwerk and The White Stripes arguing with Interpol over what to wear … Matt Jones sings about pretending to be rich …” Better stick that on the Hi Fi then thought I, the image of Ralf Hutter and Meg White scuffling over a red t-shirt wasn’t one I could shake off easily –

So onto the Hi Fi it went; click, whirr, bleepbleepbleepbleep … I nearly took it off again. The jokey opening sequence is, I think, a mistake, sounding as it does an awful lot like a pre-millenium ringtone: if that was my phone, I’d get a new one quick. And if there’s one band Master Slash Slave (not a brilliant name chaps) sound a lot like, it isn’t the groundbreaking electronic experimentalists from Dusseldorf, nor is it Detroit’s Goth Donny and Marie, not even Joy Division – the band with one of the least appealing names I’ve encountered for several months really do sound an awful lot like The Killers, but with the aforementioned Matt Jones taking his vocal cues more from the slippery tones of Suede’s Brett Anderson, rather than Brandon Flower’s Morrisonian affectations.

What about the music though? I hear you ask – well, “False Dichotomies” has a lively sounding synth intro which avoids sounding too much like an actual 80s Casiotone keyboard (they didn’t sound that great then either, as I recall)but there is no escaping the fact that tracks such as “Slummin'” really do sound a lot like The Killers. A livelier, less morbid, midweek gig you actually though was a good one kind of resemblance, but the similarities are so glaring that I’m tempted to wonder whether one or two members of the Las Vegas four piece aren’t actually involved here in assorted capacities.

And nowhere did I hear anything that even remotely resembled either the singing or guitar playing of Jack White, whom I once very nearly had the privilege of interviewing; but that, as the saying has it, is another story entirely.