Ska! Say it. Sounds funny, huh? And not just because the genre has become one of the most beloved-turned-maligned styles in history since disco. Ska, at its core, is unpretentious, buoyant and just plain goofy. But it has deep soul and jazz attached to its calypso roots, a fact that hasn't been forgotten by the Slackers. Formed fifteen years ago in New York City -- then a hotbed for retrofitted ska -- the horn-packing sextet eventually signed to Epitaph Records (and, later, Rancid's Hellcat imprint), releasing a string of discs featuring singer Glen Pines's impassioned rasp that paid homage to the traditional ska and rocksteady eras of the Skatalites and the Paragons. The group's new album, Peculiar, is yet another solid slab of Slackers that integrates '60s R&B and Bo Diddley stomp, as well as some deadly serious protest lyrics. Fads and punchlines may come and go, but the Slackers abide.
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