Music Reviews

Streetlight Manifesto

Everything Goes Numb


Well, it’s 2003 and I read somewhere that ska is making a comeback (everyone in the world with taste cringes in disgust). Sadly, it seems to be true, as evidenced by Streetlight Manifesto’s Everything Goes Numb.

To be honest, though, this isn’t that bad of a record as far as ska-punk stuff goes. I must admit that the first couple of minutes of this disc are hard to wade through, as I have a tough, anti-ska exoskeleton, but there’s something special in the way that Streetlight Manifesto performs their music that makes ska seem almost OK. The songs here are much more energetic than your typical late 1990s ska bands, and the overall recording production is much rawer than a Mighty Bosstones or Catch 22 record, thus making the music sort of “punk” sounding – in a strange, off-kilter manner. The guitars are really peppy and overdriven, and they remind me of Tim Armstrong’s guitar sound from his Operation Ivy days. The drums are pretty quiet, and could stand to be higher in the mix (this would also make the songs a bit less wussy). The horns are way too loud, and completely annoy me. The singer’s voice is a grizzled hipster cliché, and is by far the biggest negative for Streetlight Manifesto.

I must repeat, though, that this record is not terrible by any stretch of the imagination. Everything Goes Numb is pretty solid, and that’s surprising to me, given that I generally detest 99% of anything released with a “ska” tag. Fans of Catch 22, Less Than Jake and the like will enjoy this one a lot.

Victory Records:

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