Back in 2000, ska-punksters Less Than Jake made two discs available exclusively on their website. The first was a live disc entitled Bootleg a Bootleg and Cut Out the Middle Man. The idea behind that disc was simple. The band bought one of those "import" bootleg CDs, re-eq'd it, made copies, and sold it on their website. A brilliant idea if I do say so myself.
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The other disc was titled Goodbye Blue and White, a compilation of the tracks found on the band's very rare 7" vinyl releases in the mid 1990s. The band took pre-orders for a couple months but there was just one small problem. They badly underestimated demand. I mean BADLY. If I had ordered these discs, there's no doubt in my mind I only would've gotten it a couple of months ago.
So, earlier this week, the band decided to finally satisfy the demand, and Goodbye Blue and White was released into stores across the USA, with no promotion of course.
Me: "Hey, do you have the new Less Than Jake CD that came out this week?"
Salesguy: "A new LTJ CD? I don't know anything about it."
Me: "well it was in the new release email I got from your store. It's a compilation of old seven inch stuff."
Salesguy: "oh, uh, let's look."
It's always good to know it's not where anyone is going to look, in the indie new release section. (Yes, it's an indie release but come on, it's Less Than Jake, put it where people can find it, like in the "new this week" section.)
The first thing that struck me when I popped this CD into my player was the reading. Tracks: 20, Time: 33:59. You gotta be kidding me. $11.88 for this? Ugh. I was so disappointed.
The disappointment wouldn't last long. I mean, the CD is not even 34 minutes long, so no matter what it wasn't going to last long, but I mean in the good way. The first song is the band's cover of I Think I Love You, a song that also appeared on the Scream 2 Soundtrack, and a song that is righteously funny.
There's also the cover of Twisted Sister's We're Not Gonna Take It, which can also be found on the Metalliska compilation (which reminds me, I need to review that!). They somehow pack the Twisted Sister classic into about a minute and forty five seconds. Dee Snyder ain't got nothin on Less Than Jake (neither does the female Dee, Christina Aguilera, but I digress).
A couple of live favorites pop up here as well. You would think that Losing Streak would appear on the album of the same name, wouldn't you? Well, that would make sense, and let's face it, Less Than Jake isn't a very sensible band. And The Mixology of Tom Collins shows up as well. Both of these songs are probably the best representations of what Less Than Jake are. Quick and loud blasts of punk, ska and pop energy that will get you skanking, dancing, and perhaps a few other things too.
For the most part though, this album disappoints more than it pleases. I'd say that half the album is pretty cool. Besides the stuff mentioned above, I really dig Modern World, Yo Yo Ninja Boy, and the remixes/other versions of Dopeman and Scott Farcas Takes It On the Chin.
But the band goes straight into the ridiculous mode with songs like the awful metal parodies Evil Has No Boundaries and Anti-Christ. Then there's the just plain dumb Hamburger Hop and the asinine KROQ song.
For me at least, the most enjoyable part of the album was the booklet/liner notes. Blue and White was the band's van from 1995 until 1997, and it's recalled in all it's glory here by various members of the band, and a "highlight history" if you will is given of the van's life as a surrogate member of the band. It's pretty funny and gives you an insight into how hard Less Than Jake worked to get where they are today.
However, this album rates only 3 stars and a "die hards only" recommendation. Sure, it has it's moments but there's no real way a casual fan can justify $12 for this.
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