To Better Days is Slaves’ fourth album but their first with Matt McAndrew. This album brings some heavier topics on mental health and relationships.
Slaves are a five-piece band from Sacramento, California, and they are making a return to releasing new music in August after their singer, Jonny Craig, departed the band early last year. Taking a look at the track-listing, titles like “Talk To A Friend” and “Bury A Lie” give a feeling of something heavy and hard to overcome. As already mentioned, there are notions of mental health in this album. We recently spoke with McAndrew during which he said, “I think the whole topic of mental health is something we are all aware of and an important subject to discuss. It makes sense with the album we made.”
The album begins with the instrumental title track, “To Better Days.” It has a perfect flow into the second track, “Prayers.” This song is very catchy and is a little more pop-oriented compared to other songs on the record. This song talks about a relationship that isn’t going too well. McAndrew told us that most of the songs on this album are centered around relationships. “Essentially the whole record is about relationships, so it could be with a significant other or a friend. Some of those relationships on certain songs are really more about a relationship with yourself.”
One song that stands out is “Bury A Lie” as the lyrics go really well with the instrumental, and the meaning behind the song is exceptional and talks about being stuck in your own head. It also says that burying a lie will just make the lie a lot worse. Which again, brings back the topic of mental health McAndrew mentioned. From a lyrical standpoint, you can tell this is a personal song. On the other side, the instrumental starts with a punch in the gut. It has an amazing breakdown during the chorus. You can imagine the crowd at a show moshing and headbanging to. Specifically, the bridge and McAndrew’s melody are definitely unexpected and make the song stand out. It ends on a good note with a heavy riff. It’s really catchy and one to look forward to hearing live.
Over the course of this last year, Slaves released six singles that are on the upcoming album. The singles “Wasting My Youth,” “Talk To A Friend,” and “Like I Do” have music videos to accompany them. Looking through hardcore and pop-punk fans’ comments on these songs, there have been very well received so far. The fans all love having Matt as a new member of the band and they are eager to have the album come out after being teased with these six songs.
This entire album is a meaningful masterpiece. McAndrew definitely had a lot to say and get things off his mind and off his chest. There are so many different vibes on the album that it would be impossible to pick one that represents the record as a whole, but could be described as punchy, emotional, and heavy. The interpretation is up to the listener, but this album is also about something to discuss. Whether it be mental health, relationship issues, or expressing yourself and letting go. This album is fun to listen to and something you could have on repeat for a week straight.
This album will be their last release under the name Slaves. “As obstinate supporters of the BLM movement, we cannot continue to tie our music and our positive message to a word associated with such negative weight and hurt,” the band wrote on a recent post.
Set to release August 7, To Better Days by Slaves is an album you definitely shouldn’t miss.
You can check out our recent interview with Matt McAndrew here.