New York, NY – June 4, 2024 – Pirates Press Records is proud to re-release “Close My Eyes”, the 2002 album by NYC ska-reggae legends The Slackers – a complex and nuanced album that shows the band’s versatility and capacity for both commentary and introspection.

It is often said – to the point of cliche – that New York City is a “character” in the work of the city’s most noted filmmakers. A similar statement could be made about the artistic symbiosis between the city and The Slackers. From the Bronx-born accent of lead vocalist Vic Ruggiero to the band’s embrace of cosmopolitan musical traditions from a melting pot of cultural origins, New York defines The Slackers at least as much as the band have contributed to defining the sound of New York for well over 30 years.

Therefore, it bears mentioning that – aside from a 2002 collaborative album by “The Slackers and Friends” – “Close My Eyes” is the band’s first proper studio LP released after the traumatic terrorist attacks on their home city in 2001, and the band took enough time to process the global fallout of this tragedy. At first glance, the cover photograph might be mistaken for a mundane domestic slice of life, but upon closer examination, the television screen depicting a mushroom cloud and the newspaper showing explosive carnage speak of a darker world intruding on quiet home life. The lone person in the photo is turned away from both the TV and the newspaper, and, as the album title suggests, she has her eyes closed, but the implication is clear that sometimes the outside world is too big to ignore.

“So feel free go steal and rob, revolution ain’t my job,” sings Ruggiero on the title track. “And if I sing your happy song, please don’t tell me I am wrong.” It is the statement of an artist searching for a way to still sing about joy and life in uncertain times of great upheaval. And ultimately the band must reckon with these times. On “Real War,” toaster Marq Lyn takes lead vocals as the band addresses the march to war that was omnipresent in those early days of the 21st century, stating in no uncertain terms that it was “Time to fight the real war…Against hunger and poverty…For racial equality.” The Slackers make it clear that while the machinations of hawkish politicians grind on, the real needs of people all over the world are left behind.

This tension between a dangerous world and the struggles of one’s personal life are present throughout the record, and the band weaves stories from the whole spectrum of human emotion, war, heartbreak, joy, and everything in between. Bookended by instrumental tracks, opening with the energetic “Shankbon” and ending with moody dub reggae, these veteran virtuoso players ultimately take listeners on a masterful journey through the human experience.

Out of print on vinyl since its original pressing, “Close My Eyes” will be available for pre-order from the Pirates Press Records webstore on July 5th, 2024, and will be available everywhere on September 6th. It will be available on 2×12” Classic Black Vinyl as well as 2×12” Glass of Port Marble Vinyl. This new double LP pressing features 2 additional dub versions which are previously unreleased!


06/07/2024 – Edmonton, AB – Starlite Room

06/08/2024 – Calgary, AB – Dickens Pub

06/09/2024 – Winnipeg, MB – Bulldog Event Center

06/14/2024 – New York, NY – Rocks Off Cruise

06/16/2024 – Boston, MA – Rock On Boat Cruise (afternoon boarding)

09/13/2024 – Hampton, VA – Fort Monroe – Supernova International Ska Festival

09/19/2024 – Breda, Netherlands – Mezz

09/20/2024 – Koln, DE – Gebauede 9

09/21/2024 – Kortrijk, Belgium – Wilde Westen

09/22/2024 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg

09/24/2024 – Brighton, UK – Arches

09/25/2024 – London, UK – Underworld

09/26/2024 – Glasgow, UK – Audio

09/27/2024 – Sheffield, UK – Corporation

09/28/2024 – Southampton, UK – 1865

09/29/2024 – Bristol, UK – Exchange

09/30/2024 – Swansea, UK – Sin City

10/01/2024 – Boulogne Sur Mer, FR – La Cave de Monsieur Guy

10/02/2024 – Paris, FR – Glazart

10/04/2024 – Sittard, Netherlands – Poppodium

10/05/2024 – Madrid, ES – Gruta 77 (Night 1)

10/06/2024 – Madrid, ES – Gruta 77 (Night 2)

10/08/2024 – Vienna, AT – Arena Wien

10/09/2024 – Graz, AT – Explosiv

10/10/2024 –  Munich, DE – Feierwerk Hansa39

10/11/2024 – Winterthur, CH – Salzhaus

10/12/2024 – Leuven, Belgium – Het Depot

10/13/2024 – Berlin, DE – SO36