Sleave – Don’t Expect Anything

Album Review | Engineer Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

To be honest, this sort of record rarely finds its way into these pages, Northern Sky usually veering a little more towards the rootsy side of things. The Richmond, Virginia four-piece Sleave, consisting of Charlie Bowen on guitar, Julien Robert on drums, Samuel McClelland on bass and Daniel Salinas on vocals, are a kind of throw back to the early days of Grunge, with obligatory shorts, black t shirts and inverted baseball caps. The dozen songs on their debut album Don’t Expect Anything succeeds in blowing the dust off speakers a little more accustomed to the gentle vibrations of the acoustic guitar, the Kora and the mountain dulcimer. Needless to say, Sleave can (and do) wake up the neighbours.

I enjoyed listening through to this album, which borrows from some of the cliches of alternative rock and American hardcore, with a Punk sensibility and the distant echoes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Formed a good quarter of a century after the heyday of Grunge, those years seem to have evaporated before our ears. Full of vitality, energy and sparkle, Sleave have managed to capture their distinct live sound with apparent ease. Go on, give your speakers a dusting.