Released Nov. 12th on Fat Wreck Chords
It’s been quite a while since I listened to a newly-released Less Than Jake album. See the Light, their ninth proper studio full-length, finds them returning to Fat Wreck Chords, who released 2000’s Borders & Boundaries. Their exuberant ska-punk hasn’t changed much over the years, except maybe for taking a slightly more pop-punk turn during their mid-2000s stint on Sire Records, and See the Light feels familiar and comforting while at the same time carefree and energetic.
With 20 years under their belts, and a lineup that’s changed very little in all that time, Less Than Jake are in a position to reflect a bit and share some of their life lessons. “We were young, out of touch / Back then it was different growing up” sings Chris DeMakes on “Bless the Cracks”, while on “American Idle” he declares “We were the kids from the cul-de-sacs / That got out somehow without looking back”. Both songs are standouts, as are the pogo-inducing “My Money Is on the Long Shot” and “Do the Math”.
See the Light is classic Less Than Jake, perhaps grown a bit reflective with age but nonetheless young at heart. They’ve managed to outlast many of their contemporaries from the late-’90s ska-punk boom by continuously releasing records and touring almost nonstop, and See the Light is a fine addition to their already strong discography.