Release Date: May 23, 2006
Genres: Punk-Pop, Third Wave Ska Revival, Punk Revival
Number Of Tracks: 12
Punk-pop stalwarts Less Than Jake return with the adored band's first original album in three years, In With The Out Crowd.
In With The Out Crowd
DStobbs, on june 06, 2006 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: With "In With The Out Crowd", Less Than Jake continue to drop the infamous ska and vocal frantic sound of old times and replace it gradually with a well-rounded, more emotionally driven pop-punk sound incorperting a number of styles and intrigue along the way. "Anthem", their first major label outing boasted a solid-collection of songs but still maintained to keep half a step in the past, the occaisional hint of ska and wacky lyric dosege present in songs like "The Science Of Selling Yourself Short". However in this record, LTJ really have made a good clearence on their past, though some fans could deem it the ultimate-sellout. What still remains however, and this is what seperates them from peers like Fall Out Boy and the previous generation with the likes of Blink 182, is a deep maturity balanced with that sense of not taking themselves too seriously. Crazy, but it works.
Opening track "Soundtrack Of My Life" could easily slot into "Anthem", driven guitars, intense vocal delivery and trademark "woah-oh's" throughout. It's a sure tune, but not the most assuring of opener. These prospect of possible similarity is soon quashed though, and as the record bombs along enough variety is subtlely on-hand to present yet another entertaining LTJ record. "Still Life Franchise", "The Rest Of My Life" and "PS Shock The World" hone in on clearly more emotional topics, the passion clear in the vocally delivery yet with the meldodies catchier than ever. The remainder show a fast and furious new side to LTJ: highlights coming in the way of single "Overrated", pop-punk perfection, daft in content, wise in structure with bouncing chords and riffs being the craving for repeated listening. "Landmines And Landslides" is as catchy a chorus as you will come across, flowing and incessent, reminiscient of "Take Of Your Pants And Jacket" era Blink 182. // 9
Lyrics: Chris and Roger when blow all their pop-punk/ska peers away, genuine emotion and clever lyrics forever present in there delivery. "The Rest Of My Life" sung by any other band would come across as bland pop-punk but the strain and grit in Chris voice cleary illustrates that LTJ are in this game for the right reasons. // 9
Overall Impression: "In With The Out Crowd" does not bring anything new to the table, but what it does do is offer 38 minutes of pop-punk which you can sink your teeth into, relate to and enjoy, but still offer you a sense of genuine emotion that is sometimes hard to find in other bands attempting this sort of stuff. // 9
In With The Out Crowd
UG Team, on june 23, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: It's hard not to look back fondly to the good old days, when the sound of vibrant horn section of a ska band penetrated through your radio speakers and it was impossible not to bob with every emphasis of the guitar's up-beat. So when the news arrived that Less Than Jake was releasing a new album, rediscovering the in music seemed a possibility. But unfortunately, Less Than Jake's latest release In With the Out Crowd strays too far from its ska roots, while not adding much of a fresh take on any music genre. The band, consisting of Chris Demakes on vocals/guitars, bassist Roger Manganelli, Buddy Schaub on trombone, Vinnie Fiorello on drums, and sax man Peter Wasilewski, feels too much like your run-of-the-mill pop-punk band this time around.
Only a few of the songs take advantage of the powerhouse horn section, while the ones that stand without a sax or trumpet lack much distinction. The second track Still Life Franchise first feels like old-school ska, but this feeling is short-lived. Most of the songs after Still Life Franchise only use the horns here and there, which would not be a bad thing if the song had a unique chorus, verse, or well, maybe even an infectious bridge. The first single off the CD, Overrated, has the band's trademark harmonies and Demakes' energetic delivery, which are always a nice touch that defines Less Than Jakes' music. But the song relies on a few chords and a repetitive chorus as its main musical attributes. The kids of today will likely enjoy the cynical attitude projected in the tune, but for the listeners who seek a little bit more, the song probably won't satisfy.
For most of the album, songs seemed disjointed, with half of the song appearing as ska and the other half as your usual pop-punk song. But the band arranges a nice meeting of straightforward rock and horn grooves in Fall Asleep On The Subway, probably the best song on the CD. There are so many unique elements to the song that after only one listen, you are ready to start humming along. It's not your traditional ska, but the band successfully found a way to accentuate the song with the horn section. // 7
Lyrics: An essential part of the Less Than Jake's allure is the ability the band has to relate to young audiences. While the lyrics may not click with everyone, the band definitely deserves credit for maintaining the ability to convey words that will likely appeal to Warped Tour audiences. The band's first single is chock-full of lyrics of specific ideas that will likely hit a chord with more than a few people. In Overrated Demakes sings, I think sex is overrated; So is always getting wasted; Designer drugs and dead-end jobs; And classic rock is so outdated. While plenty of teenagers might find the lyrics appealing, the cynicism might just have the 30-somethings nodding their heads as well.
The band shows its more sensitive side in a song like Mostly Memories. I tried to memorize dates and times of old accidents and the failed attempts now; still afraid of those mistakes I've made. Some may say that this is a stab at emo, but it is a nice contrast to a song like Overrated. // 8
Overall Impression: Less Than Jake do offer a couple of memorable tunes on Out With the In Crowd, but the majority of the bunch does not really inspire a second listening. If the band packed the record with inspired, melodic, and horn-laced songs like Fall Asleep On The Subway and Let Her Go, it would be a winner through and through. But the pluses don't come often enough this time around.
The ska element of the band is indeed slowly disappearing, and Less Than Jake seems to not know if they want to leave that title behind or not. The horns still add such an impressive element to the songs that they should be used more not less. The band proves on a few tracks they can create a rocking horn section without the ska, so let's hope the next CD shows off that perfect hybrid on every track. // 7
In With The Out Crowd
sum41kid123, on october 13, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This tme around, Less Than Jake's sound is much different to what would of been suspected, but it shouldn't put you off this album because of that. Even though horns are only used on 6 out of the 12 songs on the album, each song delivers it's own personal story regardless of this. Songs like "A Still Life Franchise", "Overrated", and "Let Her Go" are up beat, rhythm songs that are catchy making you sing along at every moment, whilst maintaining a softer side with songs like "Rest Of My Life", "Hopless Case", and 'a Roger song': "P.S. Shock The World. Overall, it's nice to hear something different from what was expected. // 10
Lyrics: The album has certainly steered away from the normal playful, and sometimes funny lyrics from Less Than Jake. This time around, the boys seem more serious with the way the have made each song, yet still has it's funny side with songs like "Overrated," "I think sex is overrated, so is always getting wasted. Deisgner drugs and dead end jobs and classic rock is so out-dated" seem to be more saphisticated, but to-the-point kind of lyrics. // 10
Overall Impression: This has to be there second best album, right behind 'Anthem'. This has to be album of the year. The bestest songs on the album are "A Still Life Franchise", "Overrated", and probably the best song on the album is "The Rest Of My Life", but each song are as agood as each other. Less Than Jake have changed there sound abit, and have succeeded. If it were stolen, I would buy it again, including the bonus CD with a lot of extras like videos, mp3s, and photogrpahs. // 10