Slug Guts is a pretty nasty thing to call your band. But if your music has the dark, abrasive swagger of the Australian post-punk group that carries the name, it kind of works. These guys are messy, noisy, unpolished, and with this, the band’s third full-length release, nothing much changes. Playin’ In Time With The Deadbeat starts off quickly with the appropriately titled “Scum” and never lets up.
Singer Jimi Kritzler howls more than he sings and complements the raw guitar sound with equally abrasive shouts. His self-described “throat-cancer warble” is equal parts sarcastic, angry and depressed. This stuff is dark, but that doesn’t mean Slug Guts can’t have a little bit of fun with it. All 12 tracks exude a grimy, street-gang-in-a-back-alley kind of cool. “Stranglin’ You Too” gives you the best four minutes of the record, with a jangly rhythm making the track almost danceable. The album is kept brief—just under 40 minutes—making it easy to maintain attention despite the fact that the tracks begin to blend together at the nearly halfway mark of “Order Of Death.”
The problem here isn’t a lack of solid songs. What makes this album fall short is a lack of variety. If this album were condensed into an EP, it would be great, but as an LP, the Aussies seem to be stretching the good stuff too thin.