When I eat fish, I don’t really eat the fish. Instead, I pick at it like I’m doing a dissection on the damned thing, eating what parts I think look edible and pushing the rest of the crap to the side so that my plate looks like a war-zone by the time I’m finished with it. Blue Plate Special, the latest effort from the Dance Hall Crashers, reminds me very much of eating fish. Each song has its parts (usually the verses, before they turn into a punk rock band for the chorus) that are enjoyable, but in the end, the album more resembles a pile of undesirable fish junk that I’d prefer not to touch with a ten foot pole (or in this case, a CD player).
If you liked the band’s last album, there’s a good chance you’ll like this one, though. That point doesn’t really have to be spelled out, though, when fifty percent of this EP (which would mean all of three songs) has been previously released in some form. Included is a re-mix of “All Mine,” off their last album (which was done by Sam Sever, of Beastie Boys and Live fame), which actually isn’t half bad, an acoustic version of Lockjaw’s “Shelly” that they released earlier in their career, and “Lady Luck” from the Meet The Deedles soundtrack. The other three songs are pretty much the same type of stuff that the Dance Hall Crashers have been playing as of late, with a ska-beat for half the song, high-pitched female vocals, no horn section, and pop-punk for the all the parts in-between.
The insert said that the CD will double as a CD-ROM (“enhanced”), featuring four videos, some live pictures, and an Internet connection to their homepage and other various Dance Hall Crashers sites. The copy I got didn’t have any of this, so I can’t really comment, but I guess you’ll just have to take MCA’s word for it.
After listening to the album over and over again, it started growing on me like a fungus, but I’m still not terribly impressed. It’s really not half bad, but is aimed more at pre-existing fans of the band. If you’re a newcomer to the Dance Hall Crashers, then you may find that this Blue Plate Special comes with a heaping side of fish.