Slackers with The Noble Thiefs Details
Slackers with The Noble Thiefs
And Jory Kinjo
The Slackers are a classic American band that is equal parts grit and grace. Their slow rise against the odds is a story of perseverance and a belief in their musical vision, what Vic likes to call, “Jamaican Rock N Roll.” While they have been influenced, and even personally taught by Jamaican Ska/Reggae originators, like the Skatalites and the Upsetters (Original backing band for the Wailers), the band sees its music as an extension of the traditions of the United States. This band is equally appreciative of old Blues, Country, 60s Soul, Rock, and Rn’B as it is of Reggae, Rocksteady, Dub, and Ska. It is as if the Rolling Stones or the Yardbirds had grown up on Bob Marley as well as Muddy Waters.
Smashing the stereotypes of “Ska” as happy, uptempo, and shallow music, the Slackers play with an aggressive edge and their songs veer in themes from the personal to the political. They can out jam any hippie band and outwrite most singer songwriters. From their 1996 release, Better Late Than Never through to 2010 with The Great Rocksteady Swindle, they have established themselves as America’s premiere interpreters and innovators of Jamaican music and a pretty good rock band to boot.
The Great Rocksteady Swindle (release date 4/20/10) is a songwriting tour de force with all band members contributing to its gutsy muscular sound. “Mr. Tragedy” references the Specials while “Boll Weevil” references Sam Sham & the Pharaohs. “Cheated” seethes with bitterness while “Thank You” offers the possibility of hope. As the band has matured you can’t even tell anymore where the rock begins and the reggae ends, its become The Slackers.