Less Than Jake is a band that truly needs no introduction. Like many, I’ve been a fan since I first played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater as a child and since then they’ve been consistently a part of my life’s soundtrack. Silver Linings is the band’s first album release since joining Pure Noise Records and their follow-up album to 2013s fantastic See The Light, so to say I’m excited to jump into this album would be an understatement.
First up we have The High Cost of Living Low which instantly throws us into an upbeat party of Ska-punk that put a smile on my face effortlessly with a ridiculous level of energy that is carried over onto track 2 Lie To Me which got me skanking around my bedroom instead of writing this. The next track that stood out to me was track 5, The Test, with its theme of self-growth in the public eye and with the prominence of social media and posting our entire lives on it in 2020 is incredibly fitting. Track 6, The Test, pushes the Ska to the back for a purely fast-paced punk track that has it’s chorus starting with the line “How did it get so bad” which is incredibly relevant I feel in the current climate, as well as being a pretty blunt view on how technology is slowly taking over all aspects of life. I also want to quickly mention just how good the drumming by the band’s new drummer Matt Yonker, as it’s easily the driving force behind this song.
Monkey Wrench Myself is up next and brings back the Ska while keeping them incredibly fast pace and outstanding energy that is just too contagious. King of the Downside follows up with a slower tempo and is one of the best self-affirmation tracks I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Moving forward a couple of tracks we have Bill, a tribute to the legendary drummer and producer Bill Stevenson (Black Flag, Descendents, ALL) who helped set the path for all bands under the “-punk” suffix. Finally, closing the album we have So Much Less, which has my favorite performances from every single member of the band, as well as featuring Wasilewski’s first-ever Saxophone solo on a Less Than Jake record, and it was definitely worth the wait.
Wasilewski is on record as saying that “We hope this record transports you” “we’ve always hoped out music takes listeners from the troubles of the world” and without question Silver Linings does this effortlessly. I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun with a release. From the moment I start the album, I just couldn’t stop smiling, and in this current world, I feel like that is an amazing gift. Let me sum up this review in one line, Less Than Jake has put out an amazing album here and I’ve not had this much fun reviewing a release in a long time.
Review: Daniel Stapleton
Silver Linings, Is out December 11th via Pure Noise Records. Pre-order HERE