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Crux – Slaving Away

Taking a brave risk and attempting to reignite the bluesy spark of the past, Crux release their latest single ‘Slaving Away’.

Drums sticks signify the tracks descent into a modern-blues concoction. Following a jolty 12-bar riff throughout the entire song, the main hook becomes repetitive very, very quickly. Unless the music is turning the typical, overused blues riff into something adaptive and modern, the music will sadly fall victim to sounding like a redundant echo of the past as opposed to a fresh new song. The blues riff really cries out for some variation- even if the main melody explored a different variation, key change or different playing style, the track would have automatically added a higher level of excitement.

Similarly to the blues riff, the condensed vocals recycle the lyrics through the same few motifs, completely surrendering to the same standardized melodies and rhythms throughout the track. Though call-and-response with the backing vocalists is introduced in the second verse, the weary melodies feel a little uninspired.

The middle eight sees a trebly bass solo pump a little differentiation in the track. Feeling inspired from ‘90s rock as opposed to blues, the contrast in the music certainly adds a level of freshness within the music. The following guitar solo, though performed perfectly fine does unfortunately adhere to predictability. It suits the track, but we all knew exactly what kind of bluesy, scalic solo was coming.

Though the music doesn’t feel very inspired, the theme of the lyrics explores the problems of a capitalist society in which we’re all ‘Slaving Away’ to make ends meet and make our bosses wealthier. The novelty music video paired with the track does include income figures on unequal wealth – a subject worth bringing to attention and one we should certainly be more familiar with.

Though the lyrics carry a relatable topic, the music doesn’t feel quite engaging enough to portray that message efficiently. The group took a risk by attempting to reignite 12-bar-blues but unfortunately this time, it hasn’t paid off.