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Album #346: Less Than Jake – Silver Linings

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Gainesville, Florida, USA
  • Label: Pure Noise
  • Best Track: The Test

Wow, a new Less Than Jake album! Probably in the top 10 of bands I associate with my late teens, I don’t think I’ve heard anything they’ve released since 2003’s Anthem.

Silver Linings is the ska-punk quintet’s ninth album and first in seven years. Its their first material at all since their 2017 EP Sound the Alarm, which from what I’ve read was a bit subpar.

If that’s the case, this new album seems a return to form. It’s basically just what you’d expect from Less Than Jake – joyful blasts of trumpet and trombone, pop-punk riffs, and down-and-out lyrics about being broke and bored in a small town. If I didn’t know otherwise, I’d have believed this was the follow-up to Anthem.

I love ‘The Test’ at the moment, what a cracking chorus! ‘Monkey Wrench Me’ is probably the ska-est song, pacey and punky like their contemporaries Mad Caddies and Voodoo Glowskulls, while ‘So Much Less’ seems a reflective, grown-up closer.

In a weird year, it’s comforting in a way that some things are just how you remember them a generation ago.

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