The Slackers

The Great Rocksteady Swindle

Written by: PP on 27/07/2010 22:34:05

The Slackers have been releasing music since 1994, amounting to twelve albums in totals, and they've influenced countless bands in the process, including our very own Danish ska/reggae outfit Babylove & The Van Dangos who are essentially a clone to these guys, alongside Finland's The Capital Beat. "The Great Rocksteady Swindle" is the newest addition to their extensive back catalogue, and lets face it, it's not that much different than anything else these guys have done in the past, despite it being intended to display a more spontaneous side to the band.

A mixture of ska and reggae is the focus of the record, but other stuff like rocksteady and Blues Brothers-esque soul music can be found scattered around the record as well. Some songs, like my personal favorite "Mr. Tragedy", are up-beat (though these guys never go as far as ska-punk) and sing-alongable in places, but mostly, "...Swindle" re-defines a chilled out and relaxed mood. Kick back and lay down on your sofa, smoke up, have a couple of beers and just enjoy seems to be the theme of the album. It's just reggae-songs with a ska-beat and even some garage-ish tunes when these guys really tone down the production ("Sabina", for instance). And that's exactly what The Slackers have excelled at throughout their career, in creating beach-ey tunes destined to be played underneath the palm trees during the summer while sippin' a cocktail from a coconut-shaped container.

My beef with the album, however, is that it's extremely long. At 53 minutes and 15 songs, I've seldom gotten past 10 songs before I've become a little bored at the band's continuously uber-relaxed and no-frills attitude to ska and reggae. Spicing it up with a ska-punk song every now and then certainly wouldn't hurt. Maybe I'm just too inclined to ADD symptoms to fully enjoy "...Swindle", but I'd recommend going for "The Question", "Wasted Days" or even "Peculiar" instead of this one if you're going to check these boys out.

Download: Mr Tragedy, How It Feels
For the fans of: Babylove & The Van Dangos, The Capital Beat, Copenhagen ska convention
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.04.2010
Hellcat Records

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