X (2005)

X (2005)

Immediate download of 8-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited mobile access.

  1. Banana Banquet 3:42
  2. High & Tight 8:06
  3. Swampy Donkey 8:03
  4. The Godfather 0:44
  5. Slick 6:21
  6. Pastey 8:27
  7. Panti Glissando 6:50
  8. Lord Jaggy 11:51

Released August 19, 2005

 

 

Liner Notes

I own every recording Slippers have released, CDs, vinyl, the works. I’ve also seen them live far more times than I can remember over their decade of existence. Yet when asked to describe their music I usually find myself completely tongue-tied. I mean, are they a jazz band? Well, kind of, except that jazz bands don’t usually rock that hard. OK, so they’re a rock n’ roll band? Sort of, but rock n’ roll bands are rarely so funky. So they’re a … You get idea, I’m sure … So what are the Slippers? They’re … James Brown’s band circa around 1960 drinking some Bitches Brew with early Meters over at Jerry Garcia’s house; they’re Herbie Hancock and Sly Stone getting into a loud public argument with George Clinton and Mike Watt before they all make up and become great friends in the end; they’re Rashid Ali and John Bonham engaged in a rhythmic discussion while Freddie Hubbard waits for his perfect moment to blast on in; they’re Wes Montgomery borrowing a guitar from Jimi Hendrix and understanding immediately what has just transpired … Poetic allusions aside, what the Slippers really are is a group that works deep within several genres of American music at the same time and still manages to easily transcend their influences and create something completely their own. The Slippers are a rare kind of band, in other words—and a damn cool one! And on X, their third full-length CD, they’ve never sounded better. In fact, I believe it would only be stating the obvious to say that this album is thus far their masterpiece, the hard-won outcome of ten years of building their musical house: of composing, recording, and especially gigging. The fact that we’re dealing with something special with this album makes itself apparent with “Banana Banquet,” the opening track, which roars out of the speakers as the good old fashion swaggering, high-stepping funk number it is, with Brian Beeken and Bryan Watson’s tight horns leading the way like a mini Tower of Power. “High & Tight,” the following number, is even better. Victor Zahn gets things rolling with his clavinet, laying down his typically supremely dirty funk and setting the tone for a tune that is ultimately driven by the soulful bass playing of Blake Peterson, and Brandon Law’s powerful drumming, and when the horns again assert themselves suddenly the song sounds like the theme of a 1970’s cop show far too wild and gritty to have ever actually existed—how freakin’ wonderful is that? Then what happens? Well. all sorts of groovy craziness … ranging from the Olatungiesque drumming that opens “Swamp Donkey” to the fiercely original guitar playing of Michael Cody, which breaks out of it’s deep rhythmic chank to rise Phoenix-like thru solos that can only be described as exquisitely sculpted noise to the mellower freer-form explorations of tunes like “Panty Glissando” that could easily return one to forever … filtering thru an open three-am mind … So I ask myself again—What are the Slippers? The Slippers are a stone cold groove, is what they are! Put this album on, play it loudly, and I’m willing to bet everything I own you’ll agree with me on this conclusion.

Rob Woodard Feburary 7, 2007

—Long Beach, California