Has it really been twenty years since this album made its way out into the world? Time does fly by when you are living life, but Redlight does not sound like a two decade old record in the least bit; the Slackers still sound down right in the moment with their second album and that in it of itself is a testament to the timeless nature of the songs found on the record, and, in truth, these songs still get my dodgy knees moving.
Let us take a trip in the way back machine to the time that I heard the song “Watch This” on the seminal (in some quarters anyway) Give ‘Em The Boot Vol. 1 compilation and how its catchy melody and the hip shaking bounce just immediately grabbed my attention and that song was listened to over and over again whenever something fun and upbeat was called for in my beat up old car, and while it would be easy to say that the rest was history (although it is), the subtle impact that first spin in the car had on my ears was profound and powerful urges to seek out the records of the Slackers took root right then.
Redlight is a rapid fire succession of great ska, rocksteady, and roots reggae mixed with tinges of jazz that sets up some just awesome crooning vocals but even that seems like selling the album short because some bands would kill to have one or two great songs while the Slackers roll off great track after great track, the aforementioned “Watch This”, “Married Girl (“She called me up on the sly…” what a great opening for this jazzy track), “I Still Love You” (love the swinging horns and awesome vocal performance from Vic Ruggerio), “ You Must Be Good” (listen to those vocal harmonies), the criminally great “Rude & Reckless”, and on… just a great batch of songs.
Even popping this on the turntable now, I feel like I did then when I blared this on my car stereo, only now in my house dancing around the house with the spawn seeing the smile on his mischievous face wondering if I introduced him to the devilish swagger that the Slackers ooze and sing with on Redlight; and with that thought, at least he is dancing to some good, timeless tunes that will always be just a button push and a needle drop away. Happy twentieth birthday Redlight, you old devil you.
8.5 / 10
You might not like ska music, but The Slackers are the exception to that rule (at least for me and probably should be for anyone else) with their smoother sound ...
Posted March 19, 2017, 10:34 a.m.
Redlight, long out of print, it returning to circulation this year in a 20th anniversary pacakge with three bonus digital tracks. Originally released by Hellcat Records in 1997, the new ...
Posted Aug. 3, 2016, 9:46 p.m.
Rare Breed, Paper + Plastick and other labels have teamed up for a free summer sampler downloadable here. The 21 song mix includes material from Vic Ruggiero, Less Than Jake, Big ...
Posted Feb. 3, 2016, 6:28 p.m.
The Slackers will release a new album on Feb. 19 via Rare Breed/Paper + Plastick Records distribution, self-releasing the album proper on their own Special Potato label. The band is ...
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