Timeless and vibrant rock band The Slow Readers Club’s latest album “Knowledge Freedom Power” is a refreshingly diverse and infectiously lively addition to the Manchester indie rock scene.

After their fourth studio album “The Joy of the Return” reached no9 in the UK charts The Slow Readers Club have gained much attention and critical acclaim for being an exciting new arrival on the indie rock scene. With their 2018 sold out shows at 02 Apollo Manchester, London Scala and Glasgow School of Art proving that they have no problems drawing a crowd, their sixth album “Knowledge Freedom Power” is another record filled with singular but stadium-ready indie rock anthems.

Despite fitting neatly into the indie rock scene, The Slow Readers Club impressively stands out amongst the crowd with unpredictable rhythmic twists and turns, the combining of multiple genre influences and clever guitar riffs, and chord progressions blending together to create something unique. The first track “Modernise” from their latest album “Knowledge Freedom Power” is a techno-rock fusion with synth and electric guitar merging over a driving drumbeat.

Other tracks follow in the same eclectic tone such as “Sacred Song” which combines some 80s psychedelic influence with an elated atmosphere and the musical kaleidoscope of a song “What Might Have Been” in which the lead vocalist Aaron Starkie showcases his impressive vocal range. Even the more melancholic indie rock ballads on the record such as “Afterlife” aren’t lazy and have their own mark of the defined melodic sound of The Slow Readers Club. There is never a dull moment or too much predictability with this band.

Melody is something that “Knowledge Freedom Power” showcases the band having an unwavering hold on. Creating anthemic yet delightfully melodious tracks seems to be what The Slow Readers Club does best. With playful guitar chords and rejuvenating instrumentals, The Slow Readers Club creates tracks that are simultaneously energising and yet wash over the listener with ease such as the song “How Could You Know”. With stellar mixing and clean production, there is never a moment that feels overcrowded despite the diversity of sound that the album manages to pack in.

Surprisingly despite its rousing title “Knowledge Freedom Power” is not a politically driven record. Many of the tracks on the album such as “Lay Your Troubles On Me” and “What Might Have Been” focus on topics such as love and longing. Generally, the lyrical themes of the album instead seem to be promoting more of a spiritual message about community and solidarity between people rather than being driven by any kind of specific political viewpoint.

Unfortunately, the titular track for me falls down on this point. What sounds like it should be a blasting and inspiring highlight of the album is not as explosive as anticipated with a lot of vague slogans such as “tear down the walls” making it unclear exactly what the song is attempting to inspire. The ominous closing track “No You Never” has some vague reference to “flags” and “war” in it but still never specifies anything.

Overall, “Knowledge Freedom Power” is a euphoric groove record that boasts the talent of a long and very active career in music for The Slow Readers Club. Filled with surprises, their music is a much-needed enlivening and inventive addition to the indie rock scene.