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May 18, 2024

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The Slackers
Redlight (Hellcat Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The Slackers are seven piece ska band playing not only traditional ska, but basing their sound around very traditional roots. Mixing in 60's pop beats, as well as reggae, and various other mixes they come out with their own very unique style. And on their new Hellcat Records album, they serve up their own style hot and spicy, and ready for ingestion.

"Cooking For Tommy" starts off the CD with a tribute to the legendary tenor saxophonist for the Skatalites', Tommy McCook. A very traditional piece with Latin influences, this song is a definite album stand out. A classy instrumental piece that would fit in perfect in the 60's, as well as today in the 90's. The guitar is hot, the horns spicy, and the drums full of love. The bass and drums keep the backbone straight, and together they form a piece not to be forgotten. "Married Girl" is a sixty's pop song meets ska. Classic hooks that will infect your body, and make you run around singing along with the song. The ska is strong enough to make you dance. Together, you'll be dancing around singing the song, getting it stuck in your head. Needing a quick fix, you will listen to this song over and over again. "Soldier" is a strong reggae track that mixes in elements of its predecessor, ska. The song will get you to relax and think, and the lyrics are strong enough to help fill your mind with thoughts analyzing the song. The beats are tight, played to perfection. Everything falls into place, creating a song that is versatile; you can dance or relax to it, and still get something out of it. "You Must Be Good" brings us back to the roots of the ska. But they never play straight traditional ska, they always throw in various other elements, to complete their own circle of influences. The guitar is slow, creating a swaying motion in your body. The vocals are clean and full of emotion. One of the strong things about this band is the vocals. They are immensely powerful, singing the lyrics with real life experiences attached, and creating the perfect mood for the listener. The drums add a big Caribbean influence to its playing style, pumping up the music with its cool grooves. The title track has a big draw from both Jamaican ska and Jamaican reggae influences. The percussion plays perfect Jamaican drums, full of passion and tropical dreams. The horns are the cool night breezes touching your body as you walk on a beach of happiness in the middle of the night. Get away from reality for a minute with these relaxing melodies. Just dance and have fun. Forget your problems with this song, and everything will turn out good. "She Just Wants To Be Alone" is another soulful track that is full of action, while soothing at the same time. The guitar is very heavy in the mix, making your feet itch until you dance. The horns are bursts of sunlight through your window, making you move and groove to the music. "Come Back Baby" is a slow acoustic song, taking you to an island where the sun beats down on your back, and the water trickles on your toes. The horns emphasize the delight fullness of the experience, keeping you interested and smiling. As you listen to this song, close your eyes, and you'll see the tropical island your dreaming about, and you'll be on the island. The Slackers are so powerful, they take you to another state of mind, where everyone is happy, and life is fun.

If your into traditional ska played with different flavors and grooves mixed in, then this CD would be a wonderful addition to your CD player. Pick up this CD today, and enjoy the good life. A definite A.

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