Record Review: The Slackers – The Radio (Whatevski Records)

The Slackers are as versatile performers as consistent in their insatiable love of music. ‘The Radio’ is a showcase of both offering a vintage broadcasting of covers from diverse artists.

The Slackers are probably the band with the most consistent ska sound; they really deliver serious ska beats with a very original sound/production.

The songs in ‘The Radio’ might be quite familiar to you since they are covering songs from artists as diverse as Misfits, Madonna (!) and Wayne Fontana. Honestly, I am not a big fan of cover albums, I appreciate much more original creations and not remakes, but this album marks an exception.

The set of songs on ‘The Radio’ showcases the versatility and musical knowledge of the Slackers. It is really a throwback broadcasting with an emphasis on various flavours of the respected 1960’s.

‘Attitude’ (Misfits) is near excellence in sound and delivery – you can immediately know that the Slackers have really ‘studied’ their sound with a big love of music. A frantic upbeat song destined for the 2-tone dancefloor. Although I really do not like ‘semi-farse’ covers, Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin’ bears a really concrete rocksteady beat. The vocal delivery on ‘Stychnine’ (of the legendary Sonics) is just great!

Here is The Slackers’ cover of Misfits’ ‘Attitude’ from ‘The Radio’ album:

Other notable moments are the catchy ‘The Letter’ (The Box Tops), the uplifting ska of ‘Ganbare’ (of the Japanese punk-rockers ‘The Blue Hearts’) and the soulful ‘I’m still standing’ (Elton John). The cover of ‘Bitch’ (the Rolling Stones) carries the rock-solid beat of ‘Exodus’ (Bob Marley). They managed to turn their eclectic take of vintage music into a consistent release.

I found myself drawn away by the music having serious confusion about time & place, since the Slackers have achieved to forge a sound that is retro 1960s Jamaican ska but also utterly contemporary at the same time. They actually managed to be out of time, their is sound is constantly relevant and diachronic. It is not easy to achieve this, considering the fact that many ska bands have a more modern sound that is more blunt than persuasive.

The Slackers have been famous for their strong Jamaican ska (or Imaginary-Jamaican-Rock-and-Roll as they like to call it) combined with a healthy dose of rocksteady and 2-tone while paying homage to their American roots (soul/Rnb/blues). Anyway , the Slackers have defied genres for their pure love of music. They have been insatiably delivering top quality music since their inception back in 1991 in Brooklyn. With more than 100 shows per year on average, 8 original long-players and a vast array of collaborative albums the Slackers are the ultimate powerhouse of contemporary ska. The sound of New York lives on!

It comes with perfect beats and vibes when preparing a revelry with the big family and friends. Get healthy and skank around with some original music!

Visit The Slackers official website


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