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Origin Leamington Spa, England
Genres Industrial music, alternative rock
Years active mid-1980s–1991, 2009–present
Labels Ink
Members Stephen Dray
Paul Jarvis
Past members Dave Morris
Hugh Rawson
Neill Woodger
Bill Davies
Robin Risso
Margaret Ward
Scott Kiehl

SLAB! are an industrial music/alternative rock band initially active between the mid-1980s and early 1990s. They reformed in 2009.


The band's first release was the "Mars on Ice" 12-inch single in 1986 on Dave Kitson's Ink Records (an offshoot of his Red Flame label).[1] This received airplay from John Peel who invited them to record a session for his BBC Radio 1 show the same year.[2] They followed this with "Parallax Avenue" in 1987 which saw them in the lower reaches of the UK Independent Chart, and in May that year their debut mini-LP Music From The Iron Lung was issued, reaching number 21 on the Independent Albums chart.[3] "Smoke Rings" gave them their highest charting single, reaching number 31 on the indie chart in July 1987, and towards the end of the year the band's first long-playing album, Descension was issued.[3] Second full-length LP album Sanity Allergy was issued in 1988, and that year they recorded their third and final Peel session.[4] The band split up in 1991, with a 'best of' compilation, Ship of Fools, released the same year.

Vocalist Stephen Dray and guitarist Paul Jarvis reformed the band in 2009 and began working on new material and finishing old unreleased tracks.

Musical style[edit]

The band's style has been described as a mixture of "modern funk, freeform jazz and punk white noise".[1] Dray said of the band's music:

"Why just like modern jazz? Why just like Boyd Rice, or Sonic Youth, or The Swans? Why not mutate the whole bloody thing and make the most godawful sound that you can. We want to take that rock element to the extreme and make it do things that it was never theoretically designed to do."[1]




  • Music From The Iron Lung mini-LP (1987), Ink - UK Indie #21[3]
  • Descension (1987), Ink - UK Indie #30
  • Sanity Allergy (1988), Ink
  • Ship Of Fools (1991), Ink - compilation


  • "Mars On Ice" (1986), Ink
  • "Parallax Avenue" (1987), Ink - UK Indie #45
  • "Smoke Rings" (1987), Ink - UK Indie #31
  • "People Pie" (1988), Ink
  • "Death's Head Soup" (1989), Ink

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • On the Dotted Line...(Here) (1987), EMI: "Parallax Avenue" (live)
  • Ashes and Diamonds (1988), Red Flame/Ink: "Dolores"
  • Funky Alternatives 5 (1990), Concrete: "Death's Head Soup"
  • New Wave Club Class•X 2 (1991), Antler-Subway: "Mars On Ice"
  • 98 New Wave Club Class•X Traxx!!! (1996), Play It Again Sam: "Mars On Ice"
  • Jazz Satellites Vol.1 : Electrification (1996), Virgin: "Bride of Sloth"
  • Alternator (1996), Concrete: "Death's Head Soup"
  • Industrial Rock (2000), Edel America: "Death's Head Soup"

Radio sessions[edit]

  • 1986 John Peel session, recorded 12 August 1986, transmitted 22 September 1986:
  1. "Mars On Ice"
  2. "Painting The Forth Bridge"
  3. "Dust"
  4. "The Animals Are All Eating People Pie"
  • 1987 John Peel session, recorded 1 February 1987, transmitted 16 February 1987:
  1. "Undriven Snow"
  2. "Mining Town In Lotusland"
  3. "Blood Flood"
  4. "Parallax Avenue"
  • 1988 John Peel session, recorded 21 February 1988, transmitted 7 March 1988:
  1. "Big Sleeper"
  2. "Last Detail"
  3. "Killer For A Country"
  4. "Bride Of Sloth"


  1. ^ a b c Aston, Martin (1987) "SLAB", Underground, April 1987, p. 8-9
  2. ^ 12/08/1986 - Slab, Keeping It Peel, BBC, retrieved 2010-06-11
  3. ^ a b c Lazell, Barry (1998) Indie Hits 1980-1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4, p. 208
  4. ^ 21/02/1988 - Slab, Keeping It Peel, BBC, retrieved 2010-06-11

External links[edit]