Don’t be fooled by the name, or Total Slacker’s Brooklyn zip code. They are NOT a lo-fi guitar band. They’re pretty close, but ‘Thrashin’ is a mid-fi record if anything, and it turns out that mid and lo-fi are miles, if not worlds, apart. For starters, the vocals sit pleasingly high in the mix – so high, in fact, that you can easily make out lines like “Stealing from Salvation Army is the greatest steal of all/’Cause it’s stealing from Republican parties”. ‘Thrashin’, as an album title, is even more misleading, with the band mostly grooving slo-mo, mixing grunge guitars with anthemic pop melodies, not unlike Smith Westerns. And while tracks like ‘Stuck in ’93’ are of course achingly retro, Total Slacker have snatched garage rock from the jaws of death, despite lo-fi’s unintentional attempts to kill it dead.

By Mandy Drake

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