8Overall Score

Vukovi, SLO

Vukovi are an absolute powerhouse. Anyone who’s caught them live will never forget it, and they’re equally as electric on their records, as we saw with this year’s Fall Better. We know they can pick up the pace, but on their brand new single, they prove they’re just as vicious when they take it a little SLO.

Vocalist Janine Shilstone is undeniably the force that fling Vukovi above and beyond the confines of the conventional rock band, and she does so on SLO harder than ever. She pinwheels between howling high chorus lines, melancholy mutterings and fuzzed-up verses, never losing magnetism no matter how loud she is.

SLO doesn’t have a chance to showcase Shilstone’s dirtier, heavier vocals as well as choice cuts from Vukovi’s back catalogue, though it does give centre-stage to some gritty, utterly riveting riffs, but SLO isn’t about whipping up the fast-and-hard mosh-pits that Vukovi are so used to seeing nonstop. Ironically, with a recurring lyric of “I lost control but I liked it”, SLO actually shows Vukovi luxuriously flexing the amount of sonic control they’ve got, making for a totally compelling build and outpouring of tension that surges through SLO’s nervous system of synths, rumbling bass and ethereal vocals.

Does SLO remind you of the Spice Girls? Probably not, and if you don’t know that it was co-written with Spice Girls writers Andy Watson and Paul Wilson that question will probably feel a bit wild. While the influence doesn’t show how you might expect, there’s plenty of addictive pop charisma to SLO, just with a VUKOVI edge.

SLO is out now.