15 January 2013

The Slackers - Self Medication


A suggestion - not directly via a friend, but he has said before I should listen to this band. From New York, The Slackers have been going since 1991, gone through a few members and specialise in dub, reggae and ska.  Three types of music that have always interested me, but like all things you can get some bad 'un's in them apples.  So even with a worthy recommendation, I still approached with a little care.

This is the 11th studio album by The Slackers, and it starts off very promising. "Everyday Is Sunday", "Estranged" and "Don't You Want A Man" are all well crafted ska in the vain I was expecting for, the production is crisp and wonderful on the upbeat but down trodden "Leave" which just makes you want to dance for the tune and cry for the heart breaking lyrics. When this album sticks to the dub and reggae it is on fire and I can see why it was so highly recommended to me. "Happy Song" is just the right side of cheesy that it makes me smile whilst typing and enjoy the ongoing snow which is falling outside.

So why was the song "Stars" put on the album?  Seriously, it sounds like it was a reject from 3 Doors Down, it does not suit the rest of the album and jars the album so much so I had to go back to find out if it was really on the album. Went to Spotify, it is there as well. But it is one song and not the whole album which is a good thing. Some people might not like the samey vibe of the album, but it does work (apart from "Stars") and you have a feeling that this band want to play every song party and try to bring it down with their dark vibed lyrics (which are mostly clever and witty - guess what the next comment is.....).

So would I listen to this again. Now for that I am not too sure, and it is not down to the one song.  It is an album which is not grabbing me like I was hoping for, even with it easy going style it is missing that essential ingredient, that special something that makes ska work for me.  I will try again with other works and I would not miss a change to see them live if they make their way to the North East of England.  But to be honest there is better out there who have been doing it for as long as these guys.  Next album will probably be the clincher....

4 out of ten - Well it is alright, but still......

You can purchase from here

You can listen to on Spotify here

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