Welcome to Album Attack, a new feature on The Indiependent. We’re going to put two albums head to head, unpicking them track by track in order to determine which album is the better of the two. In this opening feature we’re going to compare two semi-punk albums, The Birthday Party’s Prayers on Fire and Slaves’ recent debut Are You Satisfied?. Both bands have cultivated a wild sound, with explosive live performances to boot. But which album is the better? The early 80’s wild proto-Goth of The Birthday Party, or the recent, more commercial-sounding punk of Slaves? It’s time to find out!
1. ‘Zoo Music Girl‘ vs ‘The Hunter‘
This is a really tough choice. ‘Zoo Music Girl’ is an angry lament, driven along by bassist Tracy Pew before grinding to a halt then starting all over again, whereas ‘The Hunter’ does the opposite, building up then exploding into a rage of guitar and drums. I really like both songs, but ‘The Hunter’ just edges it.
Birthday Party 0-1 Slaves
2. ‘Cry‘ vs ‘Cheer Up London‘
This one was less of a hard decision. I feel ‘Cheer Up London’ is a bit too silly for my taste but I really enjoy ‘Cry’, which shows off guitarist Rowland S. Howard’s guitar talent with a blistering sonic riff. This point goes to the Birthday Party
Birthday Party 1-1 Slaves