Slacker rock (also called slack rock) is a loosely defined genre of indie rock and lo-fi music that originated in the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s.


The term typically refers to a style that is more laid back and relaxed when compared to regular and contemporary rock in order to make it more "authentic" when compared to other rock.[1]


Slacker rock is closely related to "slacker" culture that arose in the 1980s and 1990s with Generation X and can be seen in the way the music is composed with less emphasis on playing certain notes correctly, having slightly out of tune instruments, and having lyrics be sung in a form that was more relaxed similar to the slacker style.[2] The image of the genre is that of a cool laziness or mellow swagger which came as a result from artists in the genre wanted to detached themselves from the "sellout" culture of other rock genres.[3]


Taking influence from 1980s lo-fi bands like Beat Happening and Tall Dwarfs, slacker rock was pioneered by indie rock acts including Sebadoh, Pavement, Sparklehorse and Guided By Voices.[4] The genre saw its height in the 1990s with popular artists like Beck.[5] Since the 2010s, it has seen a revival with the likes of Mac DeMarco, Alex G and Courtney Barnett.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Harper, Adam (2014). Lo-Fi Aesthetics in Popular Music Discourse (PDF). Wadham College. p. 44. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  2. ^ Harper 2014, pp. 273–274, 294.
  3. ^ Harper 2014, p. 307.
  4. ^ A Rough Guide To: Slack Rock
  5. ^ David Wild (21 April 1994). "Meet Beck: The Unlikely Success Story of a Hip-Hop Folk Rocker". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  6. ^ Leonie Cooper (12 April 2019). "Mac DeMarco and the artistic slouch: has slack rock come to an end?". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 August 2021.