Sound — 9
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.
Lyrics — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 9
"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.