Written by Killian O’Neil
Anyone who knows anything about the punk scene, or shall I say the ska scene, knows who Less Than Jake is. Ska is easily one of the most underrated genres in the industry. For nearly three decades, Less Than Jake has continued to put music out. Unlike so many bands today, they have stayed true to their sound despite what is “popular” and mainstream.
Their latest album, Silver Linings, is the band’s ninth studio album they have rolled out, though, with this they have a new drummer, Matt Yonker.
Whenever I listen to new music there is a specific way I go about doing so. Being a writer I have always listened to music from the outside in. What I mean by that is starting from the lyrics and working my way inward. Saying I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. I’m not sure if it has to do with the catchy melodies or the blunt lyrics but Silver Linings did it for me.
A few songs jumped out at me, but the first song that hit me and peaked my attention was “The High Cost of Low Living,” which coincidentally also happens to be the first song on the album. Instantly, it drew me in with its intoxicating saxophone, bass and finally, the lyrics. The lyrics speak to someone who got caught in the hamster wheel of life and choose partying as their escape.
“Takin’ what I’m makin’/ spend it on a Saturday night/It’ll be alright/ I’m tryin’ to make a livin’/Maybe I just ain’t livin’ right/But, I found my paradise”
Above is the chorus that blasted through my speakers as I sat down to listen to this album. Lyrically, this song paints a picture of what it’s like to be going through hell but with an upbeat melody. It makes you feel that you’re not alone in this crazy world that we live in.
Another song that stuck out to be big time was “Lie to Me,” which is the next single off the album. It starts out with a bit of a pop undertone followed up by the trombone that makes you want to drop everything and dance. As soon as the song finished I immediately re-started it. Normally I like to listen to albums straight through, but this song spoke to me with its chorus.
“Say you need me one more time/Tell me there’s more that connects us/Than the days we’ve left behind/Lie to me just one more time/Tell me you can’t go on without me/I’ll pretend that I’ll be fine/I’ll be fine”
Truthfully, this song is only one of many off this album that I really enjoy. Silver Linings is an album that is filled with songs that will get you in your feels without wanting to bawl your eyes out. I tip my hat to them for this incredible album. There’s a reason why they have been around for 28 years and it’s because they release music that is of their own sound. Less Than Jake continues to raise the bar and evolve with each album.
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