From their origins in the early 90s, Less Than Jake have been delivering their take on the ska punk sound that fused the two sounds together. Formed in 1992, nearly 25 years of material has now been put out by the band, and their latest offering, ‘Sound The Alarm’, by no means distances itself from that recognisable sound, but reinforces the fact that they’re still producing the same quality that enabled them to build-up an impressive following around the world.
‘Sound The Alarm’ introduces us to the EP with ‘A Call To Arms’, which is a very familiar sound fitting right into the punk ska pigeon hole. The bass line at the start is that of an epileptic hand, moving those strings with pace and power before the symbols are ringing in your ears. Then we go crashing into the track with a heavier beat and the high-pitched excitable vocals that we’re accustomed to from LTJ. The chorus is catchy and punchy, which is just what’s required for an opener.
‘Whatever The Weather’ has a slower laid back approach that would fit very comfortably on most mainstream radio shows. We’re also given our first blast of the horns to compliment the rolling track, which come to the fore at various times throughout. We up the tempo once more with a guitar intro shooting out the chords, a more upbeat vocal on ‘Bomb Drop’ that mixes a more pop-punk ska sound with the brass section.
We’re tossed in amongst the guitars, swimming through the faster riffs of ‘Good Sign’ with the horns just being heard in the distance. ‘Years Of Living Dangerously’ is another track where the foot comes off the pedal a little, before ‘Things Change’ brings the EP to a close with frantic bass, and clashing guitars that are mashed up with horns through to the end.
Less Than Jake haven’t stepped out of their well worn path here. They’ve simply kept on doing what they do very well. They’ve mixed the tracks up with pace and more mellow sounds, but really, if you enjoyed the output from the last 25 years of the band, you’ll enjoy ‘Sound The Alarm’ just as much.
Written by Kami Provan (@kami2311)