Unless you’ve been following the adventures of Serge Pizzorno (songwriter and guitarist for Kasabian) over the past few years, it’d be very easy to overlook that he is The S.L.P. Stepping out on his own, Pizzorno has done as much as possible to distance himself from his bandmates: he looks different, he’s performing under a pseudonym, and his sound is greatly removed from Kasabian, in spectacular fashion.
Where Kasabian could be considered an energetic blast of dynamite, The S.L.P is the slow-burning match that lights the fuse. Pizzorno’s talents are on full display as he takes strands of sounds he’s played with in the past, from the Morricone cinematics played with on 48:13, to the pumped electronics of Kasabian’s debut, and the acid-rock the band has played with on several occasions – and sees where they take him alone.
‘Meanwhile…In Genova’ opens the album in cinematic fashion, making it plainly obvious that this will be entirely different from anything Pizzorno has offered up before. This is worth bearing in mind, as the album does at times stray close to the Kasabian sound with the ballsy western-electro pulses of ‘Lockdown’, the distorted acid-rock of ‘The Youngest Gary’ and the ‘Processed Beats’-esque ‘Favourites’ – albeit all with some distinctions such as the latter’s inclusion of the ever-fiercely talented Little Simz.
These moments do occasionally feel like fan-service by Pizzorno, but they are expertly delivered to not feel out of place among the rest of the album. And for the rest, Pizzorno seems to be enjoying every dour moment of seeing where his musical left turns take him, whether that’s to the stellar, club-ready trance of ‘Nobody Else’, the bouncing hip-hop rhythms of ‘The Wu’ or the steadily cinematic dance of ‘((trance))’.
Whether you’re familiar with Pizzorno’s previous output or not, The S.L.P is an album that demands and deserves at least a curiosity play. It’s an interesting deviation from what you might expect, but it’s a solid release from start to finish.