Less Than Jake
When you see someone all the time, you don’t really notice them growing older. It’s when they’re away for a while then come back for a visit that the transition seems a little strange. It’s been two years since Less Than Jake’s last full-length, Losing Streak, and they’ve just pulled back into town. Yeah, things have changed and they seem different, but it’s also really good to see them again.
The first round of listens had me focusing on the appropriateness of the title — this does seem a lot more straightforward and rock influenced than their older ska-punk stuff. More listens and I’m focusing less on the formula and more on how much more I like the songs. They seem a lot more solid and meatier, with better pop hooks and not as much reliance on simple ska chinka-chinka or pop-punk catchiness. Some of that ska-influenced rhythm survives intact, as do the punk rock bits, and the horns are still present, but the emphasis is obviously on the rock, albeit in a punk/ska context. It works. Like any good band, Less Than Jake continue to change and evolve and improve themselves, resulting in another great record.
So yeah, when it’s been two years it’s a little awkward hanging out at first, but the same chemistry is still there, and pretty soon it’s back to familiar territory, just different. It’s time for catching up. Capitol Records, 1750 N. Vine Street, Hollywood, CA 90028-5274