Slacks: May 16th at Cap’s

Show up at Cap’s on the right Tuesday for once to see the Cherry Blossoms and discover that they are not playing. However, the Slacks are. Perfect. Andy and LP stripped down to drums and guitar. They start off the night, invoking the soul of the 60s garage punk sound with “Bye Bye Mind.” A slowly building drum rhythm riff. Aching vocals. Next song, “Don’t Come Over,” sinks the lo fi sonic aesthetic hook even deeper. Elements of the Greenhorns. Retro lo fi. Ghosts of the 13th Floor Elevators. Andy’s feedbacking buzz humming guitar fuses into perfect fuzzed out sounds. Imagine T-Rex crossed with The Stooges. Both LP and Andy are wearing shades. Lou Reed ultra-style. LP’s drumming is immaculate, tight and honed down to a zenlike simplicity, every phrase like a koan: what is the sound of one drum thundering?

I swear I can hear Roky Erickson’s soul is screaming with insane joy somewhere inside of it all. The wail of a forlorn soul in a dark world full of sex and death, with just this one moment of music offering any measure of redemption. The crowd at Cap’s is appreciative and screaming like early Stones’ fans. The song, “You Ain’t” gets everyone dancing in the aisles. “I Don’t Wanna” with its warm buzz of tubed up amps is just pure snake hot music. They finish out with a diamond perfect version of Roky’s “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”

Later Andy tells me that it isn’t complicated, but sometimes it is difficult to make it that simple. They are The Slacks and you aren’t. My new favorite band in Bellingham.