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    The Irreversible Slacks

    Catch a rave

    The fun of rock and roll is not dead, as The Irreversible Slacks combine past and present into a stylish surf spectacular.


    Let's face it. Despite the influence that the West Coast's unique brand of instrumental rock has had on many of the city's favorite musical sons and daughters, from Lou Reed to the Ramones, New York is not Surf City.

    Skipper Slack (Danelectro re-issue Longhorn bass guitar)
    Circus Slack (Fender Stratocaster guitar)
    Idlewild Slack (1964 Fender Tobacco Sunburst Jaguar)
    Professor Slack (1968 Ludwig Blue Oyster Pearl drum kit, Sabian cymbals, El Vibraslap).

    Related links: Official site
    Bulgarian Yogurt Volcano   MP3
    Moon-Tang   MP3
    Wall of Fiji Water   MP3
    Walter PPK   MP3
    © 1999 Irreversible Slacks. Used by permission.
    Fortunately, over the years, a few brave hydrophiles have bucked the tide and brought surf sounds to the local scene, though most of them, like the Dragsters, Human Tornadoes, and the Supertones, actually came from Ohio. But, with those acts gone, and the legendary Raybeats a distant memory, Rockaway Beach was looking pretty deserted until the Irreversible Slacks arrived on the scene two years ago. Since then, they have been playing increasingly visible gigs, mostly at downtown venues like the Continental, Brownies, and CBGB. It was at one of those clubs that they were spotted by Dirty Mary.

    "We just happened to go into this bar and they were playing," recalls Dirty Mary's Jennifer Gunns. "There were only like four people in the bar, but they put on exactly the same show [as at a crowded Brownies gig]. They made such a big impression on us. They bring the fun back to rock 'n' roll."

    While I was not as taken by the Slacks when I caught them at the Brownies gig — they could stand to be a little tighter in both the front and back — I'll say one thing for them: they can't be pegged. Their hearts may be in the early Sixties — witness their matching sharkskin suits and eye-popping vintage gear — but that doesn't stop them from tossing a cover of Nirvana's "Breed" in between their twangy originals (which have titles like "Wall of Fiji Water" and "Moontang"). They also have a sense of playful showmanship which is sorely lacking among too-cool downtown rockers.

    The Irreversible Slacks  
    Drummer Professor Slack (like the Ramones, the group shares a last name) says that they consciously set out to be not just performers, but entertainers. "One of our big gripes is that, generally, bands in New York take themselves way too seriously. Far too many stare at their shoes all night when they get up in front of a crowd. I can't think of anything more boring.

    "It's so rewarding exposing people to this music and seeing how they appreciate it. At our first CBGB's gig we had dudes with spiked collars and green hair high-fiving us after the show! Surf music allows us to put on a show for people, give them something different, something funny, but still musically challenging and absolutely ripping."

    MARCH 15, 2000

    Reader comments on The Irreversible Slacks:

  • SOOO COOL!   from Ann (Warnke) Trippler, Aug 2, 2006

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