Less Than Jake-Anthem

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by BigWig Will, May 24, 2003.

  1. I've been a Less Than Jake fan for a while. They were the first band that got me into punk and ska, not to mention the fact they consistently rock out in everything they do. They are one of the few underground bands that has released their best work on a major. So, it goes without saying that each new album they release is a big event in my life and will not only be listened night and day, but exposed to strict scrutiny.

    Initially, I have to say this album is similar to "Hello Rockview" in that it is not LTJ's strongest work. In fact, based on my first 3 or 4 listenings it's their most inconsistent and weakest album. But at the same time it's their most mature. First thing that's worth noting is that LTJ's back to playing ska! It's poppified, but it makes me feel good and it's bouncy as hell and it's ska none the less. Tracks like "Science of Selling Yourself Short", "Plastic Cup Politics" and "Motown Never Sounded so Good" go back to the original LTJ(and other early 90's ska/punk bands) formula of ska verses and punk choruses. It's a welcome change from Hello Rockview and Borders and Boundaries that were mostly rock-focused. There are a few songs that carry on B&B's ALL-esque pop-punk aura: "Upwards War and the Down Turned Cycle" and "Ghosts of You and Me" and "Best wishes to your black lung." There are also some songs that suggest that LTJ's taking a new and more mature direction. "That's why they call it a union", "Escape from the a-bomb house", "The Brightest Bulb has burned out" and "Surrender" are forceful and intense like LTJ is at its best.There are also some cool songs like "Short Fuse Burning" that show cases Chris' 80's metal roots. "Screws Fall out" harks back to Rockview days.

    The weakest tracks, I think, are "She's gonna break soon" which is really just an uninteresting song. and "Look what happened" a remake of the song from B&B that is pretty much the same as the original except that they cut out the cool pickup intro which make the song awesome. "Look what happened" does have a saving grace, though, it's got Heather from the Teen Idols singing on it, which keeps this song from 'meh' status.

    To sum up:
    Pros:More mature, if LTJ keeps going in this direction they'll only get better; horns are less present in the mix but the horn lines are awesome; the good songs are awesome; mmmm ska!

    Cons: sort of a transition album; Not very cohesive, like I said, the whole album is sort of a patchwork of what LTJ was and what they hope to be; I wish the horns were more upfront so you could really appreciate the lines; "She's gonna break soon"; Cutting the intro for "look what happening";

    Bottom Line
    Overall, I'm happy with this album, and I think if you're an LTJ fan you will be too. I am a little disappointed in its inconsistency, but I'm sure you'll be able to find a couple of songs you really enjoy. It's that kind of album.

    If you've just heard of Less than Jake, I would suggest picking up all their other albums, starting with Losing Streak and Pezcore, Losers, Kings..., Rockview and B&B, THEN get this album.

    Enjoy music.
  2. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    Wow, guess I won't be buying this one. Thanks for the review.

    I think they were the first band to get me into punk and ska, too. :) I still love Losing Streak and Pez-Core, but I traded Borders and Boundaries in a few days after I bought it. Yuck.

    Oh well.
  3. On the contrary, my good friend (and the biggest ska fan i know and LTJ is his favorite band) told me the other day "Whatever you do, for God's sake DONT buy the new LTJ cd"

    I haven't actually listened to it, but seeing as I normally don't like ska, I doubt this would be my thing at all.
  4. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    i knew this album would blow. ltj is pretty boring now, only cool on the occasional listen. hello rockview is their best in my opinion.