Less Than Jake

See The Light

Written by: PP on 05/12/2013 00:29:54

Okay so eight albums down writing more or less the same ska punk with slight deviation from album to album, should we be expecting Less Than Jake to do anything different on their ninth full length "See The Light"? Of course not. It's again a case of don't fix what ain't broken, and so if you're looking for upbeat ska punk with some of the most infectious vocal melodies and bright melodies in the genre, "See The Light" is once again the album you should be looking towards even in 2013, 12 years after their debut "Pezcore" was released on Dill Records.

That said, if you're coming here expecting a repeat of "GNV FLA", which had a darker vibe sonically, or even a return to the overtly poppy major label album "In With The Out Crowd", neither is to be found. Instead, the band have tuned up the brightness from "GNV FLA", while looking back towards their late 90s albums "Losing Streak" and "Hello Rockview", returning some of their charismatically (and this time purposefully) unpolished production to allow for their songs to stand in the sun in all their raw glory. It has two immediate effects. One - the sense that this is a 90s style punk rock record is very audibly present in the mix, which means there are plenty of huge sing alongs to be found here - see "My Money Is On The Longshot", which sounds like something that could've come outta "Losing Streak". But also two, it does leave Less Than Jake sounding like a band looking back at the past instead of innovating their sound going forward. Where "GNV FLA" was an evolution that kept the core of their sound together while adding in a new element that kept their sound fresh, "See The Light" feels like a step back in comparison. "Sunstroke" is pretty much the only track that sticks out as an oddity given its Lawrence Arms undertones.

Luckily for us, the result is nonetheless ridiculously catchy, as "Good Enough", "Do The Math", "Bless The Cracks" and many other tracks prove, with vivid horn instrumentation providing a perfect interplay for the ska riffs, and Chris DeMakes' / Roger Manganelli's vocal combination to shine just like they always have. So in that sense, returning Less Than Jake fans will find more of the same, awesome ska-punk that the band have consistently been releasing since the 90s. So while it's not another "Losing Streak", "Hello Rockview" or even "GNV FLA", it's still something that all ska-fans will be listening to in the months to come.

Download: Good Enough, My Money Is On The Long Shot, Do The Math, Bless The Cracks
For the fans of: Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, The Real Deal
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.11.2013
Fat Wreck Chords

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