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The Slackers - Self Medication (Cover Artwork)

The Slackers

The Slackers: Self MedicationSelf Medication (2008)
Indication Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: NotPatrioticNotPatriotic
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The Slackers are a band one should blaze to. It is as simple as that. If you are a punk rocker, like myself, this music may seem too laidback and boring, but put a J in my hand and damn, this shit, all of a sudden, starts to rock. The Slackers new album, Self Medication is good, not great. If you.
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The Slackers are a band one should blaze to. It is as simple as that. If you are a punk rocker, like myself, this music may seem too laidback and boring, but put a J in my hand and damn, this shit, all of a sudden, starts to rock.

The Slackers new album, Self Medication is good, not great. If you really want a history of the band, you can get it at their Wikipedia page. To be honest, I have only probably listened to 30 songs by the Slackers throughout my entire life, so I am not the go-to guy for a comparative review, though I will try to give you a thorough overview.

Self Medication starts out with "Everyday Is Sunday." This song is a jam and a half. After "Everyday Is Sunday" is an OK song with a dumb chorus titled, "Don't You Want a Man."

This is followed by "Don't Forget the Streets." This song is an ode to working class/normal folk who just get by day to day. The band talks about sticking together and getting along, and this is a sentiment I can get behind. Wouldn't the world be better if everyone just got along? "Don't Forget the Streets" is probably my favorite song on the album, my favorite line being "Some folks see a reason and some folks see a plan. And some say that their faith can't fill what they don't understand, but to hell with you and the drama and the fight of right or wrong, I'm just waiting for the day that I won't be hear to see what's going on." Whether you agree with the lyrics or not, you have to admit they're interesting.

The next few songs are sort of boring in my opinion. The next standout song is the song "Eviction." It shows the roots side of the Slackers. That trademark 'sound of the Caribbean' vibe is thrown at you hard. The steel drum sound and the saxophone solo provoke one to get up and just step with it. "Happy Song" is next and should definitely put a smile on your face -- two-tone ska to the max. Next is the song "Self Medication." It's boring; we'll leave it at that. After "Self Medication" is "Don't Have To," which is interesting. It is sort of an old-school `50s-style rock'n'roll Chuck Berry-esque song. The final song on the album is "Sing Your Song," which is classic Slackers (just my opinion from what I know of the band). The song is a straight mixture of politics and love with the laid-back feel.

To conclude, the Slackers are definitely a diverse group who make diverse music. They talk about politics/love/life and a bunch of other topics and they rule. Check out Self Medication if you like ska/reggae or just good music. I'm NotPatriotic and this is my review. Call me if you want to blaze one up.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
NotPatriotic (June 14, 2008)

"Oh noes! Someone pointed out mellow, relaxing music sounds good while you're under some form of inebriation?!? I must complain on the internet about it!"

Score is for this comment

Fishbowlvertigo (June 13, 2008)

Okay so wait: if I do shoot dope and listen to this music, it's not the same as if I smoke a joint and listen to this music, because one drug is horribly more addictive and destructive than the other.

Everyone that does heroin to relax every now and then therefore must be addicts.

No.

I have nothing wrong with doing drugs or drugs in general, but associating them with the composition of music or giving the music a one-up because it sounds better while smoking marijuana is throwing a third variable into the equation that's one hell-'uva-wrench.

It would only be fair then to give a rating to every band based on what they sound like on that specific drug.

How does this band sound like on MDMA?
How does this band sound like on PCP?
etc.

86themike (June 13, 2008)

first off....this album was long awaited.
Boss Harmony was ok at best. That really wasn't a full length. Songs like "El Gato" and "Robots" really weren't that good. Not to mention 3 of the other tracks were covers and one was a remake of one of their own songs. Boss Harmony was a 3/5.

On to Self Medication. Ruggiero's beatnik dylan-esque lyrics are obviously absent on certain tracks. But song credits are given to every member in the band. Not sure whether credit is lyrical, production or composer but might explain the inconsistency of the lyrics. Tracks like "Everyday is Sunday" and "Happy Song", though fun, seem a step back to Ruggiero's style as of the last albums. In fact, "Don't Have To" and "Walking With Myself" sound more like songs that would have appeared on Something In My Blindspot. However, the Slackers make it work.

Pine's songs seem to fall a bit up to par, but are still enjoyable and should not be skipped, "Eviction" being the stronger of the two. But it is hard to follow the masterpiece of "What Went Wrong".

Songs that stand out are ones that seem reminicent of Close my Eyes. "Sing Your Song" and Don't You Wanna Man" are instant gems. "Leave Me" not too far from familiar company as well.

Compared to other records...not as good as Peculiar but on par with Wasted Days' diversity and Close My Eyes' style. Overall, another solid release from a great band.

As for the author of the review: at least much better than AP's review which said something along the lines of "most skanktastic album since a bob marley record" Now that is a bad review.

SilentStorms (June 13, 2008)

Ha, I had 2 different score's on that last post. So this score is for weed.

"Weed affects the memory"

SilentStorms (June 13, 2008)

Wow, I didn't expect weed to be so sensitive on this site. I smoke weed. I love it. It doesn't make music better or worse, it just helps you focus entirely on the music (variations are there of course). Should we start a alcohol fight too? Wait, I smoke weed so I don't want to fight. Score is for weed, and people's opinion about it. Just don't get all high and mighty and this shit. Pun definately intended.

Score is for people's ignorant views towards one another based solely on one aspect of their life.

paulrulzdood (June 12, 2008)

Sumwan:

I agree with you, I'm just saying that the following statement "Combining drugs with music has about as much merit to it as combining drugs with humans." that that dude said below is freakin' stupid. Combining drugs with music has been going on forever, so it obviously has some merit, and you can't argue that some of the greatest albums and songs of all time were not written while under the influcence of something or written after experiencing an alternate perception brought on by drug use.

sumwon (June 12, 2008)

I can't think of a single great song written by someone on drugs who didnt also write great songs while not on drugs.

Drugs dont make music, talented musicians do.

paulrulzdood (June 12, 2008)

FIshbowlvertigo:

Dude, you're waaaay off base. No ones talking about drugs in here, who said anyting about heroin? You dont' seriously equate smoking marijuana with shooting heroin do you? holy shit, either you believed everything they told you in guidance glass in grade school or you're just terribly misinformed.

combining drugs with music makes perfect sense, have you ever heard of the Beatles? Led Zeppelin? Some of the best songs and albums ever written were written under the influence of something or another or written after experiencing alternate perceptions brought on by drug use.

if you don't want to smoke weed or drink or do drugs, then thats totally fine, but don't go around saying it makes no sense for anyone to drink (keep in mind alchohol is a powerful drug) or try drugs, i mean if thats how you like to live, more power to you, sound awfully boring to me to just have the same sober frame of reference for all of lifes experiences, including listening to music.

Paul

paulrulzdood (June 12, 2008)

LOL, Scruffy, I'm with you, I agree.

paulrulzdood (June 12, 2008)

matthew330:

I understand the brand of fan you're talking about, but not all of those bands fans are like that. Ok, maybe Pepper's fans are all like that, but c'mon, Bob Marley? He can't help that 25 years after his death dumb kids buy his shirts at hot topic and think all he stood for was smoking weed (he really stood for Rastafari and Jah, weed is just the sacrament of following said religion, and as I said, a natural enhancement to reggae music since it was invented by people who smoked. its like the lawrence arms and beer.)

not all those bands fans are like that and really, i'll take a puka shell necklace, sandal wearing frat guy smoking weed over a meat headed sXe punk rock guy looking to get in a fight and show off his tatoos via a wifebeater while he knocks over everyones girlfriend trying to mosh any day of the week.

The brand of fan most punk bands draw is waaaay worse than the partying frat sublime shirt wearing guy.

Paul

paulrulzdood (June 12, 2008)

"paul -- not a wide-ranging stereotype. you don't sound like a giggling retard. the dude who wrote the review does. that's what i'm saying.

for a dude who smokes pot, you could stand to mellow out."

cool man, its all good. And as for your second sentence, I know!! why do you think I smoke? It definitely helps me mellow out and keep an even keel instead of flying off the handle. To me its a safer means of medication than something strong and dangerious like xanax. same effect, minus the overdose/physical addiction risks. well, not really the same effect, xanax is waaaay more potent than the most potent of herbs.

Paul

Skibz777 (June 12, 2008)

Wow, thanks for making the seemingly only respectable ska band in America seem like some kind of frat boy novelty act with your constant references to marijuana. I see that college degree is coming in handy.

'Self Medication' is a decent album. Considering The Slackers/members of the Slackers release new material just about every couple months or so, it's not as if there was a lot of high expectations for it. It's about on par with 'The Boss Harmony Sessions'.

Fishbowlvertigo (June 12, 2008)

There's a new Taking Back Sunday album out?

*Gets out pedophile costume*

Matthew330 (June 11, 2008)

The new Taking Back Sunday album is only good when eating pancakes. FUCK YA'LL.

HEY HEY HEY EAT PANCAKES EVERY DAY.

Fishbowlvertigo (June 11, 2008)

I like listening to the Deftones while on heroin.

Well, who the fuck wouldn't. I'm on heroin while listening to it.

Combining drugs with music has about as much merit to it as combining drugs with humans.

mattramone (June 11, 2008)

I'm gonna have to stick up for NotPatriotic here. Some shit sounds good while you're fucked up and while you're sober. The Hold Steady is great when you're so drunk you can hardly see, but that doesn't mean I'm not kicking out their jams in my car.

-Alternate Response-

Oh noes! Someone pointed out mellow, relaxing music sounds good while you're under some form of inebriation?!? I must complain on the internet about it!

Matthew330 (June 11, 2008)

NotPatriotic: STFU and GTFO.

Scruffy (June 11, 2008)

I'd just like to point out, in the interest of extending my metaphor, that people pair wine with steak to enhance the taste of both. But if you pair a good wine with a burger from Arby's, it's not going to make it a steak.

Scruffy (June 11, 2008)

"Like wine enhances a good steak, a joint can enhance a good laid back reggae/ska album."

I have no problem with people smoking pot. But I can't tell you how many times I've argued with someone who liked a terrible album, with their only defense being "It's good when you're high."
If pot "enhances" an already fine album, good. But a good album should be good without pot. For instance, if you get me drunk enough ALL food is awesome. That only means drinking has lowered my standards, not spoken to the quality of the food.
If an album is only good when you're high, it's not a good album. NP, you just said you enjoy this album sober as well. I agree with you that it should have been in the review.

NotPatriotic (June 11, 2008)

review of an album on the internetz - serious fucking business.

Everybody should stop taking this shit so seriously. Sorry if I didn't write a review up to y'alls standard. Write one if you want, I bet punknews would put it up.

And to get shit straight, I like smoking marijuana and I think this is a good album to listen to while high. It is also good while sober, maybe I should have put that in the review. Whatever. I do think some songs are boring, many of you disagree. Should I be cool and jump down your throats for disagreeing? Who knows. I also am not a Bob Marley, Slightly Stoopid, or Pepper fan, but sweet generalization. Iâ??m out like the Lakers in the playoffs.

Matthew330 (June 11, 2008)

It has nothing to do with the quality of music. It's the brand of fan that goes with it. Most of the kids who have Bob Marley posters/shirts don't know much about him other than he thought pot totally ruelzzzzzz.

baseball (June 11, 2008)

lol @ putting Bob Marley between those bands.

Matthew330 (June 11, 2008)

I wish Sublime, Bob Marley, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, etc. didn't exist. YEAH WEED BEER AND JAMAICAN FLAGS MAHN.

Fuck off.

booker_pee (June 11, 2008)

paul -- not a wide-ranging stereotype. you don't sound like a giggling retard. the dude who wrote the review does. that's what i'm saying.

for a dude who smokes pot, you could stand to mellow out.

baseball (June 11, 2008)

"My favorite medicine is whiskey and weed..."

Vic speaks to me!

paulrulzdood (June 11, 2008)

also, the album is called "self medication", so why wouldn't you smoke a J while listening? Just a thought.

paul

paulrulzdood (June 11, 2008)

"eat doritos and giggle like a retard"

aahhh yes, the old "pot head" stereotype, so easily thrown around. Its about as fair as saying anyone who drinks "starts fights and gropes women, throws up and passes out with their clothes on". I mean c'mon man, your seasoned reefer smoker is above such highschoolish behavior. Smoking a join to me is the equivelent of a glass of wine to someone else, Its just a relaxing thing that can enhance the sensory perception, like the taste of food (where your doritos sterotype came from), the sound of music, the visuals of a movie or beautiful vista, etc. Like wine enhances a good steak, a joint can enhance a good laid back reggae/ska album. If you can't appreciate that, I feel bad for you for being so closed minded (then again, this is punknews.org, land of the close minded and ready-to-stereotype punk fan)

Also, like I said, Ska was invented by "giggling" Jamaicans that were likely baked during much of 60's when ska and rocksteady took off and gave birth to reggae in the early 70's. So cast your stones with caution "booker pee", perhaps you're the douche-rocket.

I'm not defending the review, but I am defending "giggling dorito eating" stoners everywhere for the sad stereotypes we must face.

Paul

Rastid (June 11, 2008)

really solid album

booker_pee (June 11, 2008)

wow. i know the site is in need of review material, but this kind of thing shouldn't be posted. anyone who listens to any kind of music predicated solely on 'blazing one' is a fucking douche-rocket.

you have no business reviewing this music or this band if it's something you put on in the background while you eat doritos and giggle like a retard. i can't imagine why you even bothered.

album is great, but some of the more "experimental" tracks are kind of off-putting. not to mention that the production just seems off when put up against a record as clean as "peculiar."

paulrulzdood (June 11, 2008)

I'd slap my momma to see the Pietasters and Slackers right about nowish.

Paul

NotPatriotic (June 11, 2008)

"worst. review. ever."

Second. worsrt. review. ever. Right behind this one: http://www.punknews.org/review/1028

phantomboner (June 11, 2008)

Review sucks, album is incredible.

Banger (June 11, 2008)

Not my favorite Slackers album, not even in my top 3, but even a "bad" Slackers album is a whole lot better than most other ska albums. I saw them last Saturday with the Pietasters - what a great show.

paulrulzdood (June 11, 2008)

while one does not "need" to blaze to enjoy the Slackers, it certainly enhances the experience, as it does for any roots ska or reggae artist. This style of music was invented by people (Jamaicans) that smoked marijuana daily, so I feel they intended it to be truly experienced while smoking some herb cuz they certainly wrote it while smoking herb.

You can argue against that all you want but you'd be wrong. Just google or wikipedia or read a book about the history of reggae, which evolved out of ska and they will all tell you what a vital part the wonderful marijuana plant played in its creation.

Paul

balaka2 (June 11, 2008)

worst. review. ever. who the hell picked this to be posted for mass consumption? its definitly a relatively weak slackers album, but it didnt deserve this crappy a treatment.

punk_rawk_show (June 11, 2008)

not that i dont like those bands when im not high

punk_rawk_show (June 11, 2008)

First paragraph is fucking gold.

Its exactly how i feel about Mad Caddies, Flatliners, Buck-O-Nine, Voodoo Glow Skulls and such bands

kidentropy (June 10, 2008)

Yeah, 'Stars' is an amazing song and really reminds me of the Band.

All in all, it's a cream of the crop release from a band that has yet to make a bad record.

i-type-poorly (June 10, 2008)

Score is for Stars, which is the greatest Slackers song ever. How could anybody skip this track? It's amazing on every level.

xIxKilledxJesusx (June 10, 2008)

theyre not a band to blaze to... im a "punk rocker" and i dont find this album boring-- in fact its quite great, sober or not.

score is for the album, not the shitty review

NotPatriotic (June 10, 2008)

Hey Skarocks, I see what you're saying, but it's 2008. Anyone can go on myspace or youtube or whatever and hear a handfull of songs from the album. If you like those songs pick up the album. If you don't, don't. I have the album and I like it, I just don't think it's amazing. Also, I like reading reviews, I don't trust every word any reviewer says, just like nobody should trust every word I said. In good cheer, NotPatriotic

joe_weasel (June 10, 2008)

yeah, not a lot of effort put into this review, but whatever. the album's great. the slackers are the most consistent ska bands around these days. has anyone seen their documentary? i saw clips of interviews with vic and it seems really interesting. just wondering how it was.

skarocks (June 10, 2008)

Meant to put five out of five for the album, mistake on the last post.

skarocks (June 10, 2008)

This isn't really an album review. More like a "few songs I like" review. I don't think it's sufficient to just leave out four or five songs by saying they're boring. The whole album in my opinion is great, some songs better than others. Estranged is an amazing song and certainly offers a more diverse interesting sound to the album. The album is kinda similar to the Boss Harmony sessions cd they had out before this. That's the great thing about the Slackers they don't stick to the same song formula all the time. Just thought you could have done a better review. And yeah you can say that it's your own opinion and it's only a review and what does it matter. It matters alot to certain people who want to know if they album is any good or worth buying, not giving a fair review of the album overall doesn't really do it justice I think.

skarocks (June 10, 2008)

This isn't really an album review. More like a "few songs I like" review. I don't think it's sufficient to just leave out four or five songs by saying they're boring. The whole album in my opinion is great, some songs better than others. Estranged is an amazing song and certainly offers a more diverse interesting sound to the album. The album is kinda similar to the Boss Harmony sessions cd they had out before this. That's the great thing about the Slackers they don't stick to the same song formula all the time. Just thought you could have done a better review. And yeah you can say that it's your own opinion and it's only a review and what does it matter. It matters alot to certain people who want to know if they album is any good or worth buying, not giving a fair review of the album overall doesn't really do it justice I think.

Disgustor (June 10, 2008)

people under the stairs - acid raindrops

I'll just add those 100 street cred points to my total of........... well, zero.

NotPatriotic (June 10, 2008)

Calm down homies, it's just a review. As my homie Murs would say, "You're taking this shit too seriously."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP4u4I96DVQ

It is just one persons opinion. Reviews don't matter. If you like the music, like it. I just gave my interpretation of the album. And 100 street cred points to anyone who knows where the final sentence originated. It's hip-hop related.

Matthew330 (June 10, 2008)

"The next few songs are boring".

WHAT?

"Leave Me" is the best song on the record. But I guess if it's a "good record to blaze to" that's all that matters. Ugh.

losingstreakca (June 10, 2008)

Really? This is the review we get for the new Slackers album. I hope this is a joke that the Punknews staff is playing on all of us.

Does one really need to "blaze" to enjoy The Slackers' music? I know I dont, but maybe that is because I'm not as punk rock as NotPatriotic. With a name like that you know he is a true punk rocker, or a 15 year old.

ozmanx (June 10, 2008)

Score is for "Happy Song." Makes me smile every time I hear it.

paulrulzdood (June 10, 2008)

I actually liked Peculiar more than Close my Eyes. Redlight was the best though.

I'll have to check this out.

Solid roots-ska band, but Hepcat did it better. However, these bros do it better than the Aggrolites.

Paul

mattramone (June 10, 2008)

"Another great record from the Slackers, a band with an unmatchable back catalogue IMO. They've never turned in anything less than an 8/10 (Wasted Days) and have have a couple 10/10s (Redlight, Close My Eyes). I'd say this is about as good as Peculiar, not quite as good as Close My Eyes."

And to me, I'm right.

NotPatriotic (June 10, 2008)

Wow, I definitely didn't think this would be posted. This review is kind of bad. Yes, it should say here instead of hear. There are a bunch of other typos as well. Sorry. I had fun writing the reviews.

baseball (June 10, 2008)

Another great record from the Slackers, a band with an unmatchable back catalogue IMO. They've never turned in anything less than an 8/10 (Wasted Days) and have have a couple 10/10s (Redlight, Close My Eyes). I'd say this is about as good as Peculiar, not quite as good as Close My Eyes.

Favorite songs "Don't Forget The Streets", "Self Medication", "Eviction", "Stars".

I've said it before and I'll say it again. There's not a single band that can branch out and expand on every subsequent album while still retaining their core sound as well as the Slackers.

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