April 29, 2008

The Slackers - Self Medication (2008)

Some things in life you really love. But somehow it seems they get lost amongst the daily chore shuffle, the laundry list of "needs to get done". Then, from out of nowhere, these forgotten treasures find their way back into our lives and are 100 times sweeter. Example. Ordering a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich from my favorite pizza joint as a change of pace, only to rediscover how perfect a good sandwich can be. White Russians also come to mind. After I get one, I'm always asking myself "Man, how come I never get these more?" which is followed by the two strangers next to me at the bar saying in unison, "I'll have one of those too." The Slackers are one of those bands that I always play as a change of pace and end up asking myself "Why don't I play these guys more often?", and then get asked by ten people "Who is this?" and "Can I get a copy of this?"

The Slackers are a Ska band with a bit more reggae than punk feel. Vic Ruggiero is the main singer/songwriter, but this band seems to be always trying new things, and is almost like a jam band for very talented musicians. This new album is no exception, lots of guest musicians with a very creative individual sound, mixing reggae, rock, jazz, and soul. A couple tracks are a little too out there, and I subsequently skip them, but overall a very solid record from a very jazzy band.

"Every Day is Sunday" is an awesome jam which I cannot wait to play at my next BBQ. "Leave Me" and "Don't You Want A Man" will also be instant summer time classics. An example of the experimental side would be their "Estranged" track. It sounds like a carnival ride on shrooms, fun and delightful but in a disturbing sort of way.