The Slackers - Wasted Days
The Americans have really embraced the Ska Revival. No Doubt and Less Than Jake not to mention The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have been hugely successful on both sides of the Atlantic. They name checked Madness, The Specials, The Beat and Prince Buster for their inspiration. The Slackers, though obviously in love with the Ska sound, are more credible and authentic in so much as they are not afraid of blending other musical styles and a diverse range of influences.
Their latest album "Wasted Days" has 16 tracks of pure bliss and judging by the way the band look its obvious they were born to rock & roll. "Henderson Swamp" has an old fashioned blues feel with touches of the reggae and ska sound. Its got that real live sound to it, yet so tight are the Slackers. With Peter Tosh soulful voice its ideal for listening to on a lazy summers day. "Made Up My Mind" has the spirit of Dexys Midnight Runners and is sung with a bitterness and regret from someone who has clearly suffered for their art.
Reverend Q Maxx and the lively 420 Short Bus Tabermade Choir of 3rd Street are all present and correct on "Sermon". With only an organ for musical backing, this has the simple but effective live of "Believing in Yourself". With influences from 1950s jazz ("Old Days") to Bob Marley and The Wailers ("Tales Of The Mongoose") its a surprise to see the band tackle Bon Jovi's anthem "Wanted Dead Or Alive". A gutsier, livelier rendition and is an improvement on the original.
With music this good, The Slackers deserve to be a household name. Don't just take my word for it, give these guys the break they deserve.
Nicholas Paul Godkin