Total Slacker announces fourth LP, ExtraLife & shares “Dried Up Well” video
“Rountree is an adept guitarist. His style is reminiscent of some of their aforementioned influences, particularly Weezer and the Breeders. He uses a mild fuzz to accent simple, elegant guitar lines”
“Total Slacker have consistently written songs held together by little more than gluesticks and twine — delightfully mellow garage pop with a DIY scruff that betrayed carefully considered songwriting”
“(Rountree) employs subtle experiments, modulations, and unexpected key changes that don’t necessarily trick your ear but offer a surprise”
Today the band Total Slacker announces its fourth LP, ExtraLife, due May 27. The first single, “Dried Up Well” and its video are out now, Week In Pop has the premiere. The band is now based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Tucker Rountree’s Total Slacker project has origins so closely tied to bands like DIIV and Beach Fossils that around 2009, both Cole from DIIV and Dustin from Beach Fossils did brief stints as live members of Total Slacker, and Rountree would often be seen behind the drums at early Beach Fossils shows. Other previous members of Total Slacker include Lydia from Gustaf and Nick from Sunflower Bean. Previous versions of the band have had a more traditional rock band structure, with Rountree as the sole permanent band member, but on his fourth LP, Extra Life, due May 27, Rountree plays every instrument himself.
Instead of staying in Brooklyn and making a living via touring, like the path his friends took, when the Brooklyn DIY scene started to die down a bit, around 2017, Rountree instead moved to Utah to work with his father, painting houses. With his father not being able to retire, Tucker felt a responsibility to help him. His dad, a fellow musician, played in a band called The Western Reflections in the 70s & 80s.
Somehow the experience of working manual labor for four years, a different kind of songwriting started to emerge, and slowly Tucker crafted ExtraLife during this time. The lyrics reflect this; in “Dried Up Well” he sings “this city’s like a dried up well, looks like this time its gonna hurt,” which describes Utah and other small town settings that have suffered economically and have lost sense of prosperity, with their main streets looking like ghost towns.
He also describes this paradigm shift he’s experienced; “The promise of the world is gold, when every home in the world is sold, we’ll be out here in the cold.” And again in the song “Golden Home ” he exclaims “You wouldn’t believe just how much that they have, when all they need is enough to get by, but then there’s more, people on the street, trying to find something to eat.”
ExtraLife is both the confluence of a young man returning home from the big city, but also noticing how much humanity and the economy has been affected in recent years in very real terms. This is also relevant in his song “Walk On Water”; “I know there’s nothing new under the sun, but where we come from, I know I wanna see things like a child again, but where we come from.”
Photos by Lauren Underwood