Less Than Jake
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The story of ska-rockin’ maestros Less Than Jake isn’t told in their sizable discography. It can’t be calculated by the amount of road miles they’ve logged. (But if we’re forced to calculate, we think they might be a block or two short of the Van Allen belts.) Nah! Less Than Jake’s cumulative worth is all about what they bring to your party. From sweaty club shows to uproarious festival dates to opening up for America’s most beloved rock acts, these five lifers’ deeds are best measured in the smiles they’ve slapped on the faces of true believers and new listeners, alike. Silver Linings is the name of the new Less Than Jake album, their first fulllength for the Pure Noise label and the follow-up to 2013’s See The Light. It also doubles as a bunch of sonic diary pages and a mission statement that cements their conviction after two decades in this rock ‘n’ roll circus. Indeed, LTJ—frontman/guitarist Chris DeMakes, bassist/vocalist Roger Lima, trombonist Buddy Schaub, saxophonist Peter “JR” Wasilewski and new drummer Matt Yonker—have escaped most (but not all) forms of ennui, depression and violence against screen-based objects to create an endorsement of humanity. Silver Linings also does a good amount of myth-exploding in its pursuit of joy. The songwriting core of DeMakes, Lima and Wasilewski wrote all the lyrics.
While Silver Linings doesn’t skimp on the joy, fun or grooves, careful listeners will sense a bit more reality seeping into LTJ’s escapism.