There is a hazy, dreamlike quality to the generally ripping footage slathered across the 51-minute runtime of Slave’s inaugural video offering “Radio Television” that you could say reflects the company’s underlying theme: a demented fantasy existence of big-boned, bearded and beered-up old dude skateboarders, and the twisted dreams of those kids who aspire to this lifestyle. Sort of like the ads, it sometimes looks like the screen’s been smeared with dirt.
When Jamie Thomas gave Ben Horton’s bloodthirsty tiger room to chase and devour the gazelles of this hallowed industry, there was some mumblings and grumblings about how Slave was some type of Black Box AWS knockoff, or a transparent attempt to build a functioning Anti-Hero replica without the years of hard drug abuse, jail time and the crippling departure of a budding Brazilian superman. Watching the video you kind of get the idea that these type of theories overshoot the Slave bros’ aspirations, which seem to revolve around concrete parks, marijuana, late-night cable TV and in certain cases the aforementioned beard farming. There’s an abundance of stock footage, yeah, but it’s thematic and generally thrown in in a way that’s closer to the Baker Boys productions than anything out of the DNA camp, and the notion of “artsiness” resides several counties away with a restraining order.
The overall idea is probably closer to Black Label, and in certain instances the Slave dudes manage to out-Black Label the Label itself, a half-assed idea of mine prompted by video opener Anthony Schultz, whose maybe most impressive trick is nollie inward heelflipping up the sizable three-up-three-down steps in SF. For the arachnophobic there are maybe one too many scary spiders and definitely a lot of the lipslide-to-switch-crooks type combos, the feeble to b/s lipslide is pretty wild. The other bookend, spacebound Jon Goemann, employs a Dylan Reider-type flow amongst the transitions and doles out power moves like a switch bar hop and the wallride over the ditch ramp. Maybe his rail shit (kickflip 5050, switch f/s noseslide, fakie artoslide) got him the last part by default, or how he put a frontside spin into Rowley’s madness ditch.
Ex-Zero recruits Mumford and Allie surface somewhere in the creamy middle – Mumford’s into Whale Wars and yellow hats now and seems solely focused on making the pool tile sing, when he’s not seeking to crack open his head on padless/helmetless loops. Jon Allie, working a moustache that makes him look like a cross between Cooper Wilt and John C. Reilly, still has a nice frontside tailslide but also hangs onto an annoying tendency to make a line out of a flatground trick and then a rail jump – the one with the b/s nosegrind pop-out was way better and kudos go out to the backside 180 nosegrind toward the end.
But the core of this video, and possibly company, seem to be the likes of Sean “Frecks” Stewart and Danny Dicola, barrel-chested brothers in spirit of Andrew Allen, Fred Gall and Jabari Pendleton who test the bounds of no-complys and dive headlong into huge banks. Frecks the redbeard likes the tailgrab and does this pretty sick frontside blunt fakie over a little grass gap, whereas Dicola blazes around the parks and cracks a tall rock-to-fakie in some ditch. If I had one complaint about this video, and it’s not the music for once because the soundtrack is pretty amazing, it would be that looking up at the actual world after watching it is kind of like taking off a pair of sunglasses, and there needed to be more 360 flips done by Conhuir Lynn.
*Some thought we went too hard on Jon Allie’s part in “DTL” a while back, and while the general sentiment still stands, we’ll nod to the kickflip f/s tailslide and the Hollywood High noseblunt, which was seriously out of hand.
Tags: Anthony Schultz, arachnophobia, beards, Ben Horton, bombs, Danny Dicola, Depeche Mode, flab, Frecks, John C. Reilly's career, Jon Allie, Jon Goemann, Matt Mumford, National Geographic, nine inch nails, Radio Television, Slave, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, war atrocities