Pin It
.
Favorites

ALBUM REVIEW: "The Slackers" 

The Slackers

"The Slackers"

Special Potato/Rare Breed

theslackers.com

Just like a homicide dick has to tighten his guts at a crimes scene so he can do his job impartially and keep his wingtips clean, I've gotta sit here and pretend I don't like The Slackers. But I can't because I do. Ever since this Brooklyn-based ska band's 1997 release, "Redlight," took up semi-permanent residency on my turntable, I've been a big fan. And imagine my thrill to get its new CD across my desk this week. I cracked it open, donned my headphones, fired it up, and immediately started spinning 360s in my swivel chair to the bump and jump.

The disc is pure ska amid the band's non-traditional hints at jazz and rock 'n' roll's various sub-styles. The band keeps it ska with nods to these American roots, yet it still comes off pure. The Slackers' command of rocksteady's relentless jump, rattle, and drive is just a couple of clicks north of frenzied. Unlike some contemporaries who let things get too fast, or too lazy, the band shows remarkable reserve — it always has.

"The Slackers" is brilliant. It opens up the whole affair like a carnival off its axis with "By The Time I Get To Sleep." The track "I Want To be Your Girl" is the perfect blend of Ska with a garage rock snotty grind and throb. "Run Till We Can't Outrun" hints more than a little bit at Motown as if the band were the Shangri-skas (no apologies, I couldn't help it). "Go Go Go!" is stylistically a bit of a departure I'm not really wild about. But overall this album absolutely slays me.

The horns keep it punchy, polished, and bright, while the organ pumps in between, around, and underneath the vintage-tinged vocals of singer Vic Ruggiero. Production was handled by three cats on the board: New York City producer extraordinaire, and former original Dap King, Victor "Ticklah" Axelrod; The Slackers guitarist Jay "Agent Jay" Nugent; and Jr. Thomas & The Volcanos member Brian Dixon. And though these three have their individual fingerprints all over "The Slackers," the album is cohesive as if only one cat was twiddling the knobs.

As a ska fan this is a must-have platter. And if you're a newbie, do yourself a favor and don't be a slacker.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Frank De Blase

Browse Listings

Submit an event

Black Students at Eastman Presents: Black Composers @ Ray Wright Room 120

Works by Price, Bonds, Hailstork, Still, and more. Reception to follow....
Choral Extravaganza @ First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford

Choral Extravaganza @ First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford

Jazz Faculty Assortment @ Nazareth College Wilmot Recital Hall

View all of today's events »

  • Re: County exec race will be Dinolfo versus Bello

    • Bello was Irondequoit supervisor for two years and two and 1/2 months, Jan. 1, 2016…

    • on February 15, 2019
  • Re: County exec race will be Dinolfo versus Bello

    • So, Happy, it sounds like you agree with me. There's nothing new and exciting in…

    • on February 15, 2019
  • Re: Diner series: Mt. Hope Diner

    • I have been going here for at least 50 years, back in the Pat and…

    • on February 15, 2019
  • More »
  • This Week's Issue

    Cover Story:
    Education... means emancipation
    What would Frederick Douglass think now of the state of education in the city he loved? Seven Rochesterians – community leaders, students, and parents – offer their assessment and their advice.
    read more ...

    Tweets @RocCityNews

    © 2019 City Newspaper.

    Website powered by Foundation.