KENT is hardly renowned as a furnace of punk, but Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent have done their utmost to change that perception in the shortest time possible.

Their rapid-fire approach has led to their third album arriving just three years after their debut, and given the limited time that allows for musical progression, Acts Of Fear And Love could have been a more-of-the-same effort.

In fact, it’s a genuine advance. Sure, Slaves have retained all the shouty, grunting, Oi-style racket they’ve previously displayed (The Lives They Wish They Had, Bugs), but Acts Of Fear And Love is a much more nuanced piece of work, capable of changing pace, full of hooks and guitars that act as scalpels rather than simply battering rams (particularly on the excellent Photo Opportunity), and demonstrating a knack for insight and pathos (Chokehold, Daddy).

Holman’s estuary bellow will never be to everyone’s taste but, in keeping with his band’s music, he’s clearly worked on his range and can now be heartfelt as well as hollering. Acts Of Fear And Love probably isn’t sufficiently immediate or inventive to be the true breakthrough album Slaves were aiming for, one that catapults them into the Sleaford Mods bracket. But if this upward curve continues, its follow-up – which their release rate suggests won't be too far away – could get them where they want to be.