IN APPRECIATION OF ’11: Total Slacker

Sure, their music might be a little shallow; sure, they may be juvenile, and sure, they are far from original at this point in time. It doesn’t stop Total Slacker‘s Thrashin’ being one of the most down-right fun records of 2011. Total Slacker‘s sense of humour and attitude are what helps make this record stand out in my mind as one of my favourites of the past year.

The Brooklyn trio’s grungy garage punk album came out in September to a warm reception, but it gained cult recognition from fans of bratty lo-fi 90’s throwbacks, a la Yuck, the world over. With drum beats provided byRoss Condon, little brother of Beirut‘s Zach Condon, and a big backing from the likes of similar naturedWavvesTotal Slacker certainly have a lot going for them.

Thrashin’ has the ’90’s written all over it. From their fuzz-filled riffs, to the many, many references to all things 90’s in the lyrics,  Total Slacker try their very best to hold on to those days. Their song “Stuck in ’93” is obviously the prime example of their desire to revisit that decade, with a chorus of “I wish that I could be / stuck in 93 / Everyone is so cool / Makes you want to drool“. Now, you might look at those lyrics and think that any other band wouldn’t be able to sing them seriously, but frontman Tucker Rountree does so in an effortless way that makes it flow by without you even raising an eyebrow.

The album is full of addictive hooks and bouncy bass-lines. An obvious huge influence on the music is that of Weezer, with much of the hooks and guitar work echoing those of the pioneers of the 90’s. That being said, the most obvious influence on their music is Nirvana. It’s safe to say that Mr Rountree & co. are just a little bit fond of the Seattle grunge legends. Total Slacker is like a more up-beat, poppy version of Nirvana, who have been submerged in an abundance of pop culture of yore, so much that it extenuates through every track of the album.

The whole album tells the story of not caring, and being lazy, but the irony is the fact that the music is played so well that they must care a little bit, otherwise the music would sound like shit. ‘No Mo 4Loko‘ tells the familiar story of waking up in the mid-afternoon after a heavy night drinking, in this case specifying the infamous American alco-pop Four Loko. With the uncanny riff of Smells Like Teen Spirit to carry it along, this song is the epitome of the Total Slacker mantra.

With only 20,000-ish scrobbles on Last.fm, It baffles me why more people don’t listen to Total Slacker.Believe me, Thrashin’  is worth your time. Even if the attitude of the band doesn’t resonate with you, the music will.
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