To prime the pump for new album Taiga, Slates released a fine EP of punk covers SST in February. Here, they display their talent for writing original material, then infusing it with a vibrant energy. Helping their cause (and bringing increased media attention) is legendary punk producer/engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies). For a taste of their compelling sound, check out "Molina Blues", a surging track that marries melody and muscle to great effect. Check it out on Soundcloud. Slates tour Western Canada in March and April. Go to this link for dates. One interesting fact: Slates are one of the few Canadian rock bands to have toured Cuba.