The Slackers aren’t exactly newcomers when it comes to releasing albums. The soulful ska septet, hailing from New York City, have just released their seventh full-length CD, entitled Close My Eyes on Hellcat Records.
The album builds on the musical insight of the band’s previous albums, while exuding an air of experience and confidence that comes from playing together and recording albums for almost ten years.
However, just because they have experience under their belt, does not mean the Slackers merely repeat the same process for every album. “This is completely different from our other albums,” explains Slacker’s vocal maestro Marc Lyn, a.k.a ‘Q Max.’ “It’s more refined. Every time we put out a record we look at it like, ‘Oh my God, we put out a record! We are so lucky!’ If the record is together and we’ve got the CDs in the packages, then it’s all good. We’re just happy to have a record out.”
In a musical market that is saturated with sameness, the Slackers produce music that matters. It is difficult to listen to any Slackers album without identifying on some level with the group’s message. “We’re all about musicality and content, and we’re not a ‘hey baby, baby’ group. We’d like to think that Slacker’s music is filled with content that people can grab on to.”
The Slackers are more than a band; they are a family. This shows in everything from the musical harmonies on the album, to the group dynamics on stage. “We just feel comfortable playing with each other.”
For a band that has been playing together for almost a decade, being friends is expected, but the Slackers share a comforting closeness that extends beyond the music. “It’s like you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. Well, I didn’t choose these guys, they just became my family.”
Those who have been fortunate enough to experience the band’s live show know that what is on the record is only half of the total Slackers experience.
The group, which is renowned for its two-hour sets, truly put the emphasis on entertainment. To celebrate the release of the new album, the Slackers have upped the stakes. “We’ve re-vamped everything. For the rest of this tour Slackers play two sets, because we ain’t got no pyrotechnics, we ain’t got the whole entourage so now Slackers are up to three-hours sets.”
Three hours of the Slackers still seems not to be enough. Their performance at the Rainbow last Saturday night concluded after two encores, and left a full house screaming for more.
What the Slackers may lack in pyrotechnics, they make up for in stage presence. The set, which included a well-orchestrated mixture of old and new tunes, had the whole crowd dancing and the floors of the second-story bar shaking.
The Slackers absolutely constitute money well spent, should it be on the live performance, or the new CD. One thing is for sure, the Slackers may not write music for the masses, but their sound, energy, and attitude truly has mass appeal.