Despite windy conditions at Huntington Beach Pier, classic surf punk band Slacktone warmed things up with bright surf guitar riffs and flawless drum solos backed by…(shall I say it?)…a gnarly swell combing through the pier pilings. Once a month, the International Surfing Museum will host a summer concert series featuring classic surf tunes, this event being the first of one of seven.
Since 1995, Slacktone have been ringing into the ears of surf culture geeks across the nation. Primarily instrumental tracks added an original throwback feel to Surf City U.S.A.'s vibe as guys with surfboards underarm sprinted towards the breezy shore. This month, the band will celebrate it's 20th year together.
"I don't surf enough to be a surfer," says Drummer Dusty Watson. "I like really warm water, so I surf in Hawaii or Costa Rica…I'm a pussy."
With cold water? Understandable, Dusty. But when it comes to the drums, like a perfectly peeling point break that will fire on this next south swell, Watson is a total machine. Several times during Slacktone's set, I took a break from my chilly disposition as Watson showcased decades of drum experience while Lead Guitarist Dave Wronski shredded his Fender
Stratocaster's Jaguar's fret boards like Kelly Slater at Jeffrey's Bay.
Scratching my eyes behind my sunglasses, I couldn't tell who was moving faster: Watson or Wronski.
"Slacktone doesn't get to play that often anymore because I'm playing in [Tacoma, WA. band] The Sonics, so I'm on tour a lot," says Watson. "But whenever I'm home, we always try to do a show."
While Pulp Fiction spread a heavy influence in the '90s, Slacktone played tons of club gigs, although they've since gravitated towards extreme sports events, like OP Pro, MTV Rock n Jock and Norba and even international festivals like the Surfer Joe Summer Festival in Italy. Though they might not be as active as they once were, their ability to bring out the sun with their shimmering riffs on a cold beach continue to make Slacktone HB's harbingers of summer.
Slacktone celebrate their 20 year anniversary on Friday, May 15th at Don the Beachcombers off Pacific Coast Highway in Sunset Beach. The show is free and open to all ages.
For more information about their upcoming shows, visit: slacktone.net