TOTAL SLACKER – CRYSTAL NECKLACE (IMPOSE, 2010)

Apparently, according to Crawf, Total Slacker absolutely killed it at this year’s SXSW, blowing his preconceptions of what a self-descriptive and self-limiting band with the name “Total Slacker” is capable of. While I am probably just letting Crawf steal my review, here is a description of their live show:

TOTAL SLACKER. Here’s a band whose name really fits; every member of Total Slacker has an incredibly easy job. Consisting of a female vocalist/bassist who played basically one simple line per song, a drummer who had little to do but keep time (and he only had to do a marginal job at best to pull off the show), and a singer who scraped his guitar with scathing abandon while singing pointless, yet somehow relatable songs titles like “Secret VHS Collection,” producing ear-piercing screeches almost completely devoid of any melody or harmony. Not much regard for intonation. Not much regard for keeping together. Not much regard for anything—the band essentially writes simple pop songs, simply performed… but their show. Oh my, my, my. If you get a chance, definitely make sure you see these guys live, particularly their frontman, in whatever capacity possible. I have never seen such disregard for the life of a guitar. The poor instrument was beaten, cracked, battered, and finally smashed into oblivion on the pavement in front of the stage, which really freaked out the entire audience. He then went on to throw the shredded remains in front of his amplifier as if it would somehow still make noise. He then gave up on that, plugged in his backup guitar, and proceeded to mutilate this new guitar with the broken pieces from the original one. Bewildered and riled-up audience members got in on the fun, smashing pieces of one guitar into another right along Tucker’s side. The entire escapade seemed to consume a majority of the band’s performance…

Intense, right? Their 7″ single “Crystal Necklace” is a wonderful slice of bombed-out, reverb-drenched, slacker-pop that cuts right through any idea of rock & roll’s macho grandstanding. That is, until you see them live… then all bets are off.

Ryan H.

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