Let’s Go Bowling

Let’s Go Bowling

Freeway Lanes

Asian Man

I’ve had trouble getting to all my reviews this month. Let’s Go Bowling’s new live album Freeway Lanes, keeps monopolizing my CD player! Every time I think I should listen to one of the other discs that showed up, my hands instead keep reaching for the LGB! Why? Simple. LGB are one of the best live ska acts around, and Freeway Lanes displays that quite elegantly.

Any other band would have a hard time living up to the tight musicianship on the 18 gems here. The horn section alone puts almost any other band to shame, able to switch from perfect synchronistic unison on tracks like “Spy Market” to elegant, accomplished solos on tracks like “Mr. Twist” and especially the classic “Rude 69.” The band’s harmonies are equally accomplished, blending sweetly on tracks like “Esta Noche,” or providing raucous gang accompniment on tracks like “Live & Let Dance” and “Let’s Go Bowling.” What’s more, the band sounds like they’re having fun, not just with their performance, but it talking to the audience between songs. There’s some truly funny stage patter here, particularly on the introduction to a cover of the Skatalites’ classic “Man in the Street” and their own “Bitch.” You can’t help but feel caught up in the crowd’s enthusiasm; it’s almost like being there yourself!

About the best compliment I can give Freeway Lanes is that it makes me wish Let’s Go Bowling were playing in town every time I hear it. I’d be in the front row every night singing along! You couldn’t possibly regret picking this up! Asian Man Records, PO Box 35585, Monte Sereno, CA 95030-5585, http://www.asianmanrecords.com, http://www.letsgobowling.com

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