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on 23 February 2006
Well this album woulda been the best if it wasn't so damn similar to the original. I though Tom Kalnoky might havebrought a new spark of streetlight magic towards this album, but the biggest change made to a song is in Ride the Fourth Wave, due to the solos being changed. However all the other songs are as good as the orignal Tom Kalnoky era Catch 22 Keasbey Night, except maybe Dear Sergio in which they have used the Bandits of the Acoustic REvolution version with the one extra magic. However that was a pretty sick album, so the same ratiung must be given. All I can say is I can't wait for the real next original Streetlight album. Still any hardcore fan will be pleased with this purchase.
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on 9 March 2006
i just dont know why they did it. Tomas is surely just going over old ground and the songs dont that different enough to me to justify doing this. its almost like he cant let go of the past which is a real shame because "Everything went numb" was an absolutely brilliant album and marked a real change from "Keasbey Nights". So what about this one?, well the songs sound less well polished, more like they have recorded a rehersal than a properly produced album which i like, it sounds a bit more personal. there is an edge to the songs and I think his voice sounds better on this album than on the original. the songs do sound very similar to the original of 1996 though, i was expecting more dramatic changes than this. Riding the fourth wave is markedly different with a guitar over the melody, the solos in "Kristina..." are longer and sound more like improvisation but that is really it. I was expecting slower/faster versions of songs, acoustic versions etc. Perhaps it will take a while to distance this from the original and judge it in its own right?... In short, its a very good album, if you do not already own them though, buy the original and everything went numb before this. Streetlight Manifesto still remain one of the very best live bands i have ever seen, i have managed to see them three times in the UK, so do make sure you grab the chance to see them live when you can.
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on 18 March 2008
You'll either love it or hate it.

I've never known one album leave fans of Catch 22/Streetlight so divided! Some are absolutely livid and see this as nothing more than blatant profiteering, and others accept it and embrace it as the album that Thomas Kalnoky wanted to make first time round. I've had the original Catch 22 version for years (friend of mine burnt me a CD and insisted I listened to it), but saw this one on my recommendations and thought "yeah why not". At first it jarred - there were extra embellishments all over the place, and I really wasn't sure what to make of it. But I stuck with it, kept playing it, and it really started to grow on me. The musicianship is far more refined, and more credence has been given to the horn section, really letting them show what they're capable of. This is most noticeable on 'This One Goes Out To....' and 'Kristina'. I think 'saxxy' is about the best word I can come up with!

If you like your punk with that raw sound, a bit rough round the edges, go for the Catch 22 version. If you like musicianship with a bit of flair, and really appreciate a good sax solo, then the Streetlight 'cover' is a very worthwhile investment.

While I do still love the original Catch 22 version, the burnt CD has long since gone missing, and it's the Streetlight rework that lives in a zipbook of CDs in my car.
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on 27 April 2008
This Album has become the benchmark for third wave Ska. Some people complain it to be a profiteering effort but for those who think that, wouldn't you rather give the band money then the record company? The reason Streetlight re-made this classic Catch 22 album (3 members of streetlight come from catch 22) was because the original was to be re-released by Victory with "bonus content", usually comprising of a live track and random interviews. (Oh Hurray!)
Tomas and the group decided it would be better, both for the fans of the album and fans of streetlight to take the original and give it a lick of new paint. In my opinion this album is far superior to it's original counterpart. The mixing has been correctly followed through leaving all parts of the album clear enough to enjoy instead of the strain it was sometimes with the catch 22 counterpart.
For all intents one of the greatest Ska albums that will ever be released.
Haven't bought it yet? Shame on you!
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on 29 March 2006
As a huge fan of both Keasbey Nights and Streetlight Manifesto, I approached the purchase of this album with both intrigue and slight apprehension at what could potentially be a huge mistake on behalf of Streetlight Manifesto.
Remaking such a landmark ska album was always going to be a bold move, allowing Streetlight Manifesto two basic choices:
- Make huge changes and possibly destroy the core of the album,
or
- Make numerous small changes to try and improve the overall quality of the album.
Invariably, they went for the latter.
I'm not sure what motivated the band to approach this album but in my opinion, it was a very good move. The horns sound alot clearer and indeed, the skill with which they are played is notably higher. As such an integral part of every song on this album, it's very pleasing to hear that the changes to their sound have resulted in raising the quality of the album. With the intricate melodies now completely audible, it's even more of a joy to listen to the album.
The second of the three areas of noteable change is the prominance of the guitars within the songs. They are noticably more crisp than they appeared in the original album, changing the sound of every track from having a subtle guitar undertone to having a riff driven intensity which is hard to imagine not being there all along. This definitely improves the energy of the songs and indeed, the overall cohesion of the album.
The final area of improvement is the vocals. In the original album, they appeared to sink into the songs, sometimes being overwhelmed completely by the drums or horns. In this version however, Tomas' lyrics are much more understandable and float over the instruments, rather than being overwhelmed or competing with them.
These changes are all, in my opinion, contributing to a greater overall sound which helps convey the emotions behind the album even better than the original managed. Being such an avid lover of the original album, this heralds huge praise towards Streetlight Manifesto, for doing the impossible.
Keasbey Nights has been improved. However, it would be criminal to not own the original album too. The differences will be apparent to fans and may be questioned at first, but the only question I can ask is:
"Why wasn't it done like this in the first place?".
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on 11 March 2006
you have to wait to the end of the album before the issue becomes clear. it sounds like it is a recording of a mock interview with Tomas and explains why they did it. listen carefully... Catch 22 were considering the re-release of the original "keasbey", Tomas offers to re-record it. he is happy with the result and so should you be! Its different but it has lost none of the charm or the passion and the fun. listen to it as a new album...
"we are going to keep doing what we do whether or not a single record is sold!"
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on 15 March 2006
Don't get me wrong, alot of the songs are pretty much the same musically but the recordings do sound better than the original. As one of the other posters said, it's all explained at the end of 1234 1234. The horns sound better, the guitars clearer and his voice sounds better for some reason...just compare 1234 1234 on this album to the original, the intro sounds cleaner.
Can't wait for the next Bandits album as well.
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on 22 March 2006
This was always going to be a controversial album. Its very hard to understand its existance without some knowledge of the dynamic between catch and streetlight, but I will leave that alone for now. Musically, this is a top notch album. The brass is tight, the drumming is intense, the vocals are heartfelt and the solos blistering. Musically, this is better than the original Keasbey Nights, but its also nearly identical. Whilst the original will always be a classic pinnacle of 3rd wave, this re release could only have been justified if there were major differences and these are sadly lacking.
As a major streetlight fan I would much prefer to have a new album than this one. If you've already got Keasbey Nights, just get it out, listen to it again and save yourself some money. If you don't then buy the original, its an essential part of any ska collection.
One can't help but feel if Streetlight had been called Catch 22 there would have been no need for any of this.
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on 22 January 2008
Why would they make this? Why would you BUY this?

In short, they've massacred all the songs you love from the classic album. Sure, they're played with a little more fines but the overall mix is just appalling! It literally sounds like each band member playing their part in a separate room rather than a band playing together. The horns in particular sound over-polished and garish. this may seem like a weird complaint but you'll know what I mean when you listen: over-produced just isn't a strong enough word.

I you have the original, seriously don't bother, you'll only feel you wasted your money (the songs are all basically the same anyway)
If you're after Keasbey Nights, the original may be rough around the edges but its superior by a long way. Don't encourage bands to do this sort of thing. Avoid.
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on 24 June 2006
I lost this album by Catch 22 but when I found out Streetlight Manifesto released it I thought I'd get their version! As 3 members from the original Catch 22 formed Streetlight Manifesto I knew the album should be equally as good if not better.

The songs have a higher quality sound to them and there are clear differences in Tommy's finger picking intro' and there are many more brass solo's!

The songs are fast, fused and skank-worthy. With in all this excitement they have managed to mix in very chilled back parts which you can't help tapping your foot to!

If you own this album by Catch 22 you shouldn't hesitate getting it by Streetlight as well. Many great songs and amazing ska!! This band has a classic ska sound to them but are very much their own style.

A must have in anybodies ska collection.
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