The Slackers

The Great Rocksteady Swindle

BY Nicole VilleneuvePublished May 25, 2010

NYC's tireless ska-blend troubadours the Slackers keep rolling uninterrupted with another excellent album, their 12th studio effort. As is standard for their prolific selves, The Great Rocksteady Swindle is the band's fifth official release in two years, and it's packed with 15 tracks running the gamut of their always impressively crafted, laidback sounds. A collaborative effort, all six members contributed to the writing of the album, and the upbeat ska of "A Long Way Off" and "The Same Everyday" by guitarist Jay Nugent are immediate standouts, with vocalist Vic Ruggiero's slower, soulful dub numbers ("Because" and "Don't Look Back") being a close, slower-burning second. In the instrumental version of Bill Withers' classic "Ain't No Sunshine," the band dig their own quiet intensity out of the song, somehow managing to work a creepy angle on the funky organs and lo-fi guitars throughout. One could argue that no Slackers album can be strongly differentiated from another, but that isn't to say their work is bland; the band are simply on a consistently high level, and The Great Rocksteady Swindle is no exception.

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