Origin: Elgin, Illinois
Genre: Ska punk
Years active: 1993–1996
Slapstick is a punk-ska fusion band from the Chicago area that was primarily active from 1993 to 1996. Started by a group of friends from the Elgin area, the group took inspiration from Operation Ivy and the guttural punk vocals of Crimpshrine. Since disbanding in 1996 Slapstick has periodically reunited to perform shows for various reasons, including benefits and anniversaries. The band is known for being the root of the “Slapstick Family Tree”, a group of musical projects which spawned from members of Slapstick, including Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms, The Broadways, Tuesday, Duvall, Colassal, The Honor System and The Falcon.
Slapstick played typically fast-paced ska with gruff vocals, which set them apart from most other bands of the time. The band was active until 1996. They have 2 full-length releases: the album Lookit! was released on Mike Park’s now-defunct Dill Records, and later on his next and still-active label Asian Man Records; and a self-titled compilation (also referred to as 25 Songs or Discography) was released on Asian Man, featuring the songs from Lookit!, a few unreleased songs, and 6 new songs that were intended to be released on a 10″ record had the band not split.
Prior to the release of these albums, the band had released two 7″ vinyl EPs: Superhero, which came in various colours of vinyl and with two different covers; and Crooked, which featured 4 songs later released on Lookit! (and by extension the eponymous compilation). Superhero was originally self released, and later repressed and released alongside Crooked on Dyslexic Records. A few songs were released exclusively on now out-of-print compilations, and thus remain unavailable. The band also released a split with Tommyrot, and a few demo tapes containing otherwise unreleased songs. Thus, the self-titled ‘discography’ is not technically a complete collection.