Home Read Classic Album Review: The Slackers | Wasted Days

Classic Album Review: The Slackers | Wasted Days

The New York septet roam far beyond the dreaded S-word on their fourth full-length.

186

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Nowhere on The Slackers’ fourth full-length Wasted Days (or on the PR bumpf that goes with it) will you find the dreaded s-word: Ska.

From a marketing perspective, obviously it’s a smart move — the only trend deader than ska these days is retro-swing. But the tactic also makes sense musically. This New York septet have always cut a wide musical swath, mixing jazzy jive, R&B and plenty of soul in with their off-beat Blue-beat and hepcat hijinx. Here, they take off in even weirder directions, adding some frat-rock organ (So This is the Night) and even twangy, downhome pedal steel guitar and violins (Dave’s Friend). Not to mention the rudest cover of Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive you’re likely to hear. Whether or not they want to own up to their ska roots, The Slackers have nothing to be embarrassed about here.