There is something about Les Claypool that makes you instantly become very fond of him. It could be his voice—it sounds slightly nasal and strangely repressed and yet it is very boyish; it reminds me vaguely of the voice that a certain Indian industry lobby group’s former boss used to have except that the latter did not sing and when he spoke he always managed to make you feel mildly irritated. Or, it could be, and very likely is, Claypool’s almost other-wordly virtuosity with the electric bass guitar. Claypool slaps and strums and taps his guitar, creating a trademark bass sound that no matter which band he is playing with makes him sound like the lead player.
Of all the little critic-created pigeon-holes to classify rock music into sub-genres, the one I most dislike the sound of is ‘slacker rock’. What is slacker rock? Who’s the slacker in the kind of music that is classified under that title? Is it the musicians? Is it their audiences? The kind of music they play? My Concise OED provides two meanings for the word ‘slacker’: 1. a person who avoids work or effort. 2. a young person of a subculture characterised by apathy and aimlessness. Both I find abhorrent descriptions in the context of the rock music that is generally classified as slacker rock. Read more