Anyone who’s pretty chilled and has a guitar could be a creator of “slacker rock”. It’s unlikely to ever fall victim to the judgemental-genre-police who haunt a lot of electronic music.
It can be rubbish, but if someone with a laid-back attitude to life, a sense of humour and a knack for song-writing appears, then the results are unbeatable. It ranges from solo acoustic finger-picking and muttering to a pretty heavy-rock full band affair.
Here’s a selection for starters:
The basic paradigm for slacker rock, of which everything else is working. Stephen Malkmus effortlessly pours out line after line of verbal gold to an unpredictable and often ridiculous accompaniment. If slacker rock could be bothered to have a motto, ‘Range Life’’s “Don’t worry, we’re in no hurry” would be a definite contender.
I’m not really sure I understand Ween. The Mollusk is quite a strange album: there’s a song called ‘I’m Waving My Dick In The Wind’; “Ocean Man” was used in the SpongeBob SquarePants movie; they ask “have you ever made a flan and squished it in your hand?”. They can be a bit disturbing, but more often than not the lyrics are funny and the music works. It’s never predictable at least.
The wisest of all slackers, Kurt Vile’s lyrics are shockingly easy to pass over because of his brilliant chord progressions and hypnotic guitar lines. When you actually pay attention to what he’s mumbling in your ear, you realise that few else can sum up the world as directly, entertainingly and melodically.
In the ‘Dreamin’ video, Mac climbs out of a roof-box dressed as Mozart. At the end of the ‘Ode to Viceroy’ video, he tries to smoke fifty cigarettes. In the ‘My Kind of Woman’ video he cross-dresses and then, naked, gets wrapped up in newspaper. He is ridiculous, but it’s not just visual; few albums are as simple and enjoyable as 2.
With a blissful, relaxed aura similar to Real Estate, Travis Bretzer could well be the next big name in the illustrious canon of slacker rock.