Slapstick
Slapstick


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (87 Reviews)
July 12th, 2012 | 23 replies | 1,762 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The modest beginnings of members of Alkaline Trio and The Lawrence Arms and an all around fun ska/punk record.

Slapstick was the humble beginnings of both Brendan Kelly from The Lawrence Arms and Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio. They were a six piece ska/punk band that put out a few EP's and singles in the early 90's that were compiled into this self titled release. Slapstick came around in the time in between Operation Ivy and the Third Wave Ska explosion in 1997, and they definitely sound like it. Slapstick were basically a punk band with horns, as the members were self admittedly not ska experts and just a bunch of punks who were into ska for a while. Once their ska phase ran it's course they broke up and most of the members moved on to other bands. Dan Andriano went on to play in Alkaline Trio, while Brendan Kelly and Dan Hanaway formed The Broadways. They left behind a legacy of catchy ska/punk tunes and moved on to form more popular bands.

The self titled Slapstick is a compilation of most of the bands songs, 25 to be exact. This album is a lot to digest, with 25 tracks and a running time of about 55 minutes it's best taken in with two sittings. The album as a whole doesn't have a lot of replay value as many of the songs blend together and their are only a few standout tracks.

The opening track "There's A Metalhead In The Parking Lot" is one of the last songs the band ever wrote and definitely one of the best. It has a really catchy sing along chorus and some great bass work. It shows how much potential the band had that would later be fulfilled in later bands. The punk cover of "Earth Angel" is nice, that song is always great to hear. "Johnny" the longest song on the album clocking in at 3:32 is not only the longest song but the worst song. It's grating and repetitive and one of the only skippable tracks on the album.

Brendan Kelly's is known for his gruff vocal work in The Lawrence Arms, and his delivery is no different on this album. His vocals are even rougher and a lot less melodic, and it's apparent his vocals needed a lot of development. Brendan is known for his remarkable lyrics, but unfortunately the lyrics are really hard to make out on this album. While Brendan didn't sound as good here than on future releases, Dan's bass playing is actually some of the best he's ever done. Ska is known for more intricate bass lines and Dan really shows off on this album. The rest of the instrumentation is nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done. The guitar work is pretty standard for the genre, switching between punk power chords and ska upstroke chords. The horns are not as good as future third wave ska bands, but that's to be expected as they were one of the first American ska/punk bands at the time to use horns extensively. This record is best enjoyed while viewing it as a punk album with horns rather than as a predominately ska record.

While Slapstick might not seem very special today, they were a much bigger deal when they were around. The served as the very important bridge between bands like Operation Ivy and most third wave ska. This album is mainly enjoyed by big ska fans and completionist fans of The Lawrence Arms and Alkaline Trio that want to here were the members of these bands came from. Slapstick is a fun ride, but is hampered by it's exhausting running time and its lack of originality by today's standards.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2012



49766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

OK so I'm reviewing the Slapstick family tree which is basically the discographys of Alk3 and The Larry Arms and their side projects and other bands and it's like 20 albums so wish me luck that I finish it

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

tom79
July 11th 2012



3363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've listened to this a couple times, didn't leave too much of an impression me, couple great tracks though. Maybe I should give it another spin sometime. Love the Broadways album though. Nice job dude.

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2012



49766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude, your Broadways review is really good and I'm sure mine won't be nearly as good

tom79
July 11th 2012



3363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ha thanks a lot man, I'm sure yours will be just fine.

eyehategod
July 11th 2012



644 Comments


you should have told me you were doing this so i could have written one and we could have both submitted it at the same time

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2012



49766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sorry, I'm doing 20 of em so it's no big deal just catch me on the next one

eyehategod
July 11th 2012



644 Comments


ok i will i write a review for a great album that you enjoy and you can write one for a great album i enjoy and we 1 them both

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2012



49766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't man, I'm on a mission to review all these albums in order

eyehategod
July 11th 2012



644 Comments


what are they

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2012



49766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

slapstick
broken star/broken van
goddamnit
a guided tour of chicago
maybe i'll catch fire
ghost stories
alklaine trio
from here to infirmary
apathy and exhaustion
good mourning
the greatest story ever told
god don't make no dirt
crimson
cocktails and dreams
oh calcutta
unicornography
remains
four one five two
buttsweat and dreams
agony and irony
this addiction
we chase the waves
matt skiba demos
I'd rather die than live forever
dan emergency room
damnesia
In that order

eyehategod
July 11th 2012



644 Comments


never heard of any of them

PistolPete
July 11th 2012



3556 Comments


fuck man good luck with that so many albums, never heard of Slapdick

Digging: Nothing More - Nothing More

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2012



49766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They better make me contributor if I ever finish

PistolPete
July 11th 2012



3556 Comments


Lol but 95% of your reviews will be for similar bands. I actually thought you'd written more than 9 reviews. This one's well-written man.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2012



49766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh thanks man, I was kidding anyway
I only have 9 reviews because I think my writing is shit

MO
July 11th 2012



18208 Comments


trebs vying for sput cred m/

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

WeepingBanana
July 11th 2012



10040 Comments


woah i have 9 reviews for the same reason. good luck on this though

i've been meaning to check this album out

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2012



49766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I used the same phrase in the summary and the intro
brb killing self

PistolPete
July 12th 2012



3556 Comments


I'm too afraid to go read my first few reviews cuz they suck donkey ass and I'll probably wanna re-write them and I'm too lazy to do that...

Satellite
July 12th 2012



20675 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yay awesome review. i'm excited to see how this endeavor turns out because holy fuck it's quite the undertaking.

remove the apostrophe from both "it's" in the last sentence.

Digging: Dikembe - Mediumship



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