SLABS, THE: Feed Our Dirty Dark Souls: Cassette

C’mon, gang. Look, I understand the urge, and I’m a cheerleader for it: everyone should be in a band, do what you can with what you have, blah blah blah, but shit or get off the pot. Seriously, for a band who obviously cares so much about what their listeners think about their image to put out such a clumsy, unlistenable mess in the name of “keeping it real” is a waste. There’s at least a little bit of money in the presentation, what with its lovingly wrought ‘60s psych-inspired graphic design and screen printed tapes. There are times, too, when if I squint my ears I can hear glimmers of trashy glam songwriting potential, unfortunately reduced to a dull thud by the horrific “recorded straight to a General Electric boombox” mix (their words, not mine) which sounds like wrapping a bunch of blown speakers in bubble wrap. But between the disparity of care in packaging and recording, I just don’t buy any of this. I can’t. It’s too contrived. The corny, canned between-song banter, which includes tuning and lame in-jokes before the music starts, makes it sound like these guys want to be playing a live show but can’t muster an audience, yet are so full of themselves that they assume listeners will sift through their proudly shitty, trying-too-hard “we don’t care” bullshit for a negligible mess of a yield. Nice cover, though. 

 –Michael T. Fournier (Shake!)