Now here is an album I have not heard in a very very long time. Less Than Jake are a ska punk band who hail from Gainesville, Florida, USA. This album was their sixth release and for some LTJ fans it is a Pandora’s box. Let me explain - in ska punk you have to have a brass section. It is like an old charter, or law, or some bollocks like that. If a ska punk tries something different, then the community is not happy - they are not happy at all. When this was released in 2006 a lot of people were very annoyed at the lack of horns. Imagine a punk reaction similar to what the collective metal community did when Metallica released St Anger and also when they released Lulu - or if your of an indie music variety imagine the whole of Beady Eye's career. However with hindsight and distance between now and the original event, how has the album aged, has it improved or is it a failed experiment?
For this listener, it was a joy to listen to back then and to be fair to the band it has aged a lot better than some of their other releases. I adore the production job by Howard Benson on this record, it does have a shiney pop variety but the band's natural punk personality is still very evident here. Also you can see the pop sensibilities with a song being written with Holly Knight (who was responsible for Tina Turner's "The Best") and Mark Hoppus (of Blink 182 fame) also drops in to help as well. For the records, the one by Ms Knight is "Overrated (Everything Is)" which the album's lead single and a very good song.
For this album I have such a hard job trying to say which of the songs are positives - not because there is none, it is because the whole album is a fantastic piece of ska/pop punk. The tracks which I tend to go back to are "A Still Life Franchise" & "Fall Apart", both of which I would hope will always be in the Less Than Jake live set so people can hear these amazingly crafted anthems. The whole package is fantastic from the art work, the production, the songs and the band's overall performance and was a good way to leave major label Sire. This to me is their best album, it was back then and it still is now - it holds my attention better than some of their other works and it is more complete. Forget the nay sayers, join the out crowd.
10 out of ten - This is proof that there is a God.
You can purchase from here on Amazon
You can visit the band's website here
You can listen to the album on Spotify here