Peculiar

The Slackers

Pirates Press Records, 2019

http://www.theslackers.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/11/2019

Leave it up to the Pirates Press Label to make a classic album even better; this version of the 2006 record from the New Yorkers The Slackers gets the reissue treatment with an expanded gatefold version housed in a matte-finish. It even comes with a bonus 7” of two tracks that weren't on the original Hellcat Records release, too. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Peculiar was a  record that was ahead of its time. From the smooth ska opener “86 The Mayo” to the funk spirited and soulful “In Walked Capo” to the jazz sensibilities of “Sauron,” The Slackers shows us a deep bag of influences and an even deeper bag of talent with Vic Ruggiero's inimitable vocals steering the ship.

Lyrically, the album is as relevant today as it was 13 years ago. The band offers us insightful commentary with the roots reggae of “Propaganda,” and the percussion-heavy “International War Criminal” is sadly still a topic in today's political climate. Of the two unreleased tracks, “Rider” is particularly great with detailed rhythm, vocal manipulation, and plenty of sophisticated musicianship.

The Slackers is an outfit with a sound that amazingly could be played alongside your favorite punk band as well as a blues and jazz record. With some of the instruments here being recorded live and vocals being over dubbed later, it really captures the uncontainable energy of this widely embraced outfit well, further illustrating just why they're considered the best of the best.

As always with the Pirates Press Label, you get various colorways of the vinyl, a digital download code and incredible packaging. Even though The Slackers has yet to release a dud, I think we can all agree that this release is not only at the top of their catalog but certainly their most visually stunning, too, so make sure to get your dancing shoes ready for some lively protest music.

Rating: A-

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© 2019 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Pirates Press Records, and is used for informational purposes only.