Less Than Jake is one of the few bands that has found the balance between punk rock and mainstream fans. Their sound is catchy and yet always uncompromising. They have a confidence and a success that comes from creating albums that don’t try to fit into any particular category or subculture. Their blend of ska, pop, and punk have always found a perfect balance that intoxicates listeners and urging them to sing along to infectious hooks and dance with the music stops or they fall down with exhaustion, whichever one comes first.
This week, Less Than Jake has just released their first EP of all new material since 2008, entitled: “Greetings From…” And to be honest, I always get a bit nervous when I hear that a band that I have grown up on releases a new album. I always have high expectations yet am looking to love it. I must say that I was floored as I was listening to this EP, I was not disappointed, it is hands down one of the best punk albums released in years.
With this new album, they are truly embracing the DIY ethic that punk rock was built on. “Greetings From…” has been released on Less Than Jake’s own Sleep it Off Records and will only be available through Less Than Jake’s website and at their merch tables. They are taking out the middlemen and creating an environment where the band puts in the work and also receives the proceeds from their creations.
Since “Greetings From…” is a 5 track EP, let’s take this review track by track. There are horns and ska chords in all the tracks, yet the EP as a whole leans towards the punk rock side of their sound. It kicks off with Can’t Yell Any Louder, which is a solid ska song that begs for skanking in the pit and shouting in time. Mr. Personality is a slower track, yet still will get you moving to its groove and singing along with the chorus. Harvey Wallbanger is a straight forward hard hitting pop punk blend. Oldest Trick in the Book is a mature track full of questioning and wisdom for us regular folks, with the simple yet poignant lines such as, “I’ll change the world before I go / it’s all I know”. Life Led Out Loud ends the EP on a killer note, fast hard music and vocals and a catchy chorus make it a celebration of music and punk.
All in all, “Greetings From…” is pure kick ass high energy Less Than Jake that fans have loved for years. Cheers to Less Than Jake, this makes remember how awesome it was to grow up a punk rock kid. This summer Less Than Jake is hitting the road with Warped Tour and will surely be gaining many new fans, ones that may not have even been born when Pezcore or Losing Streak were released. Last, but not least, the track, Mr. Personality available for free digital download. So, first, go download your copy of Mr. Personality. Next, you will want to go to Less than Jake’s website to buy the EP. Then go to Warped Tour to check them out this summer.