Reviewed by Graeme Crawford
FreeSlave frontman Haydon Spenceley is always going to attract attention, a fact which his band are quick to acknowledge. "As far as we are aware, Haydon is one of very few wheelchair users currently active in the UK music scene," states their press release. FreeSlave are quite happy to discuss this aspect of the band, but it is not something that they play on, or use specifically to get noticed. Haydon's disability may arouse interest in the band, but it is the strength of their songwriting which should ensure that this interest is maintained. Although FreeSlave have an album out that was really Haydon with guest musicians, this EP is the first release from the current line-up. It displays a real talent for epic songwriting and heartfelt, God-focussed lyrics. "Save My Day" is a groove-laden track, building to a strong finish, while "Hope" has a more brooding nature. "Am I Dreaming" displays a rockier, more immediate aspect to the band, and the final track is an instrumental reprise of "Hope". The rhythm section of drummer Matt Brombley and bassist Ben Lewis keep things tight and drive the songs forward, allowing Aaron Lewis' guitar room to highlight or emphasise as required. Along with his powerful-yet-fragile baritone, Haydon Spenceley uses his keyboards to skim and soar amongst the rest of the music, providing extra rhythm or flourishes as the song dictates. Keep watching, this band could develop into something special.
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