© 2006 Hellcat Records
It seems like quite a long time ago when I was shipped my first Slackers CD to review. It in fact was almost 8 years ago. I’m happy to report that I’ve got the new Slackers CD in my hot little hands. (It is actually in my CD player, as I felt it a more appropriate place.) I’ll be updating this review as I have the time, but for the moment, let’s just say the CD has some power.
With style grace and persistence, The Slackers are the heart soul and backbone of the New York ska scene. Peculiar is an exceptional release of the genre. To capture the intensity of their live shows, the band went to the legendary Ernesto's in Holland to cut the core of the tracks in front of a packed live audience. After recording all the new "live" tracks the band went back to the studio and stripped the rhythm tracks and performed vocals and horns and added guest assistance by contemporaries like Alex Desert of Hepcat and Jeff "King Django" Baker.
I commend the Slackers for their innovative approach to the new album. The combination of live energy and studio polish brings a whole new level to the life of the record. Adding to the intensity of "Peculiar" is the socially and politically aware vibe, much akin to the voice of dissent found in the reggae of the 70's.
Songs like Propaganda and International War Criminal decry current political scandal and portray the discomfort and discontent with the current management if you will. "Peculiar" is a brilliant blend of ska reggae and rocksteady raising a voice of concern to the current state of affairs.
Don't let me misguide you though; the album isn't entirely political so much that is an assessment of life, a bit of a State of Life Address. "Peculiar" brings hope for the true ska fans and fans of great music everywhere that not all hope is lost.