Few bands can be quite as synonymous or defining in their genre as veteran Floridian ska-punks Less Than Jake. They’ve been around what feels like forever and this week they return with a new a new label and a renewed sense of purpose. Oh and new EP, ’Sound The Alarm’, which features a clutch of new songs that are as timely and relevant as they’ve ever been.
Things pick up right where last release ‘See The Light’ left off. ‘Call to Arms’ serves as an impassioned wake up call for troubling times, and is a great tone marker with its defiant but not overstated message.
‘Bomb Drop’ keeps the sense of restrained protest rolling, packing urgent brass, crunching guitar chords and another rallying cry from Chris DeMakes. This is sandwiched by ‘Whatever the Weather’ and ‘Welcome to my Life’ reprising the smooth chilled out ska-punk LTJ do so well. Although the latter doesn’t try to hide it’s hacked off political undertones.
Later ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ combines potent lyrics and mellowed out riffs in a manner that’s distinctly reminiscent of the likes of ’The Science of Selling Yourself Short’ and ‘The Rest of My Life’, before ‘Things Change’ wraps things up in triumphant and optimistic fashion, complete with a typically upbeat vocals from bassist Roger Lima.
‘Sound The Alarm’ is the sound of a band fed up and fighting back, but not in a remotely patronising or over the top way. It’s fair to say that rarely does the sound of discontent sound this feel good or smooth in its execution. If this refreshed, fired up and stand taking Less Than Jake is anything to go by, their new home of Pure Noise forms a pairing to get very excited about. ska-punk’s most reliable outfit are on the march once again.
‘Sound The Alarm’ EP by Less Than Jake is released on 3rd February on Pure Noise Records
Words by Dane Wright (@MrDaneWright)