on 22 May 2006
For almost five years now (it's a long time for me, alright?) Less Than Jake have had a very special place in my heart, as my favourite band. I fell in love with their catchy, up-beat music and as I got older, started to appreciate their incredible lyrics. So you can understand my excitement as this album fell through my letterbox this morning.
Having heard bits and pieces of this album as they were leaked on the internet I was incredibly excited to hear the rest of the album, and I was not disappointed. Less Than Jake can always be relied on for catchy pop-punk with great lyrics, and this album is no exception. However, the band has explored new sounds as well as continuing to serve up more "classic" sounding Less Than Jake. The bouncy, upbeat ska-punk of "Let Her Go" or "P.S. Shock The World" wouldn't sound out of place on an older Less Than Jake record, while "Fall Apart" seems to experiment with slightly metal-tinged guitar at the very beginning and in other places seems to be slightly reminiscent of 80s hair metal, and they even venture into power-ballad territory with "The Rest Of My Life".
"In With The Out Crowd" has unfortunately fallen victim to unfair criticism of the lack of horns, or lack of similarities to older, "classic" Less Than Jake. However, if you can overlook this and listen to this album with a clear head, you will hopefully find it to be a thoroughly enjoyable collection of catchy pop-punk done Less Than Jake style, just as I have. Vinnie's lyrics are as relevant and meaningful as they have ever been, possibly even moreso and musically Less Than Jake have not lost their knack for upbeat, hook-filled songs. Buy it, listen to it and above all, enjoy it.
on 24 June 2006
With any punk band in recent years, maturity has hit everyone of them, it has made some (Green Day), broke some (Blink 182) and made stand-outs for others (Reel Big Fish). It seemed pretty inevitable that Less Than Jake would one day join that elite of groups.
After their major label debut 'Anthem', Less Than Jake appeared to disappear from the media, with only releasing a record of b-sides during their absence. When lyricist Vinnie Fiorelli claimed to Kerrang! the new album was much like what they've done before just slightly different, he was definately understating himself there.
In With The Out Crowd shows LTJ moving into much bigger rock territory, more guitars and less horns. To many people, this is what may cause the group to lose quite a few of their fanbase, but certainly this will attract a lot of new comers to the band.
Lyrically, LTJ have always had messages hidden beneath, and it always looks as if Vinnie has a jukebox of themes to write about. Songs like Hopeless Case and A Still Life Franchise give the impression of giving up in life, whilst Soundtrack of my Life and Overrated (Everything is) reads like a teenager growing up to learn things that are good and bad.
The most interesting song for me has got to be The Rest of My Life. The song is credited by LTJ and former Blink 182 bassist Mark Hoppus. Lyrically it feels as if it's an open letter of regret and sadness by Mark towards his relationship with AVA's Tom Delonge.
So basically those that are hoping this is just like the other LTJ albums then be prepared for a shock. Does that make it bad that its different? NO!! It's still a great record, it just depends on your take of the word 'mature'. I'm certainly not dissappointed in this one, the fact I've got my friend into this group by playing this album shows its good in its own right.
And in true Less Than Jake fashion, it is naturally bloody catchy as well. :-) Ignore the complainers and just give it a try!
on 16 June 2006
With all bands, you wait with nerves wondering if the new album will be any good. Often you wonder to yourself if now is the time that the band might be getting a bit past it. But not LTJ! I'm amazed at some of the comments on here because i love the album, and can't seem to stop putting it into my stereo or car CD Player! Ok, a couple of the tracks might sound a little (and i do mean little) bit different from their earlier material, but it clearly shows that they can create a variety of sound.
Personal favourite tracks are "Overated (everything is)", "Landmines and Landslides", the Mark Hoppus written "The Rest of My Life" and "P.S Shock the World". (This also shows one previous commenter on here that the tracks and names are memorable!)
Perhaps not the best album, i'd say this is my third favourite album by LTJ. If you like them, buy it. If you're expecting an entire album of songs like "All My Best Friends Are Metalheads" like i'm sure most of the commenters on here are, don't bother. But i'd recommend you give this new variety a listen!
on 22 May 2006
This isn't a terribly good album from Less Than Jake especially compared with their last two releases Anthem and B is for B-Sides. The songs generally sound samey and Overated sounds like a rip-off of Bowling for Soup's 1985.
One out of five for the great disapointment this has proved to be. The rest of my life stands out as a particular low point which is slow, dull and scarily emo which is quite depressing.
Overall the outlook is bleak and maybe they should quit whilst they are ahead.
on 12 March 2007
LTJ are possibly one of the best bands ever but this album has taken a worryingly emo turn for the worst
thankfully there are still a couple of ska tracks on here which are the only good tracks but there are still hardly any horns, so LTJ do what you do best and go back to the ska
if you are new to less than jake try losing streak/ hello rockview instead
on 22 May 2006
Been waiting this album for a long time and it's definately worth it!
As much as we'd all love a brand new straight up ska album, this album's far from that but in a good way. Whilst Soundtrack To My Life and Rest Of My Life felt week on their band page, they are so strong when back by the rets of the album. I loved Overrated form the second i heard it. Let Her Go is great, reminds me of Greta American Sharpshooter, but ska-d up. Although there are a few ska tracks, I dont think thats is what this album is about. As tehy said in an interview, this album definately feels more mature. It has some slower, more mellow songs, but these are what really grabbed my attention. I feel I can listen to this album over and over; it has a very fesh feel to it, much more pop-punk here, with the odd crunchy riff, and lushious brass section. Personally for me, this beats Anthem hands down. Standouts for me include the previously mentioned let her go, Mostly Memories, Don't Fall Asleep On The Subway, Landmines & Landslides and P.S. Shock The World.
Personally I love thsi album and have listened to it at leats 7 times since pickining it up today, the day it came out. I saw them in April and now I really wanna see them again! Definately a solid LTJ release and purchase!
on 8 September 2007
Uncomfortably wearing the tag of 'scene veterans', In With The Out Crowd finds Less Than Jake attempting to bridge the raucous ska of old with the hearts-on-sleeves yearning favoured by a MySpace generation. The trademark humour and vibrant horn section has been completely stripped away, leaving a wafer thin pop-punk core. This stuff can be done well - and indeed has been on earlier albums - but, even when judged as a pop album, In With The Out Crowd sounds uninspired.
Coming across like set of B Sides rather than anything resembling coherency, the album leaps between bizarre stylistic diversions ("Mostly Memories"), disturbing 80's homages (the Police-esque "Hopeless Case") and bland pop rock (read: every other song). Oh, and then there's the requisite MTV ballad ("Rest Of My Life") thrown in for good measure.
The few attempts at recapturing their playful heyday ("Let Her Go") sound deflated and lifeless, not helped by a sickly radio-friendly sheen. Frustratingly, these songs offer teasing glimpses into the Less Than Jake of yore, before being buried by slick guitars and repetitive choruses - "A Still Life Franchise" - the clear highlight of the album - even opens with an organ that wouldn't sound out of place on a Rancid CD.
Special mention must go to "Overrated (Everything Is)", the song being prepped as The Big Single - a mid paced dirge that juxtaposes a handful of powerchords against a clumsy, repeated chorus. "Maybe I'm jaded and bored/always looking for more/waiting round for the next big fix" go the opening lines, and you can't help but feel like Less Than Jake mean every word. Tired, apathetic and devoid of energy, they are a band on autopilot, awkwardly reshaping themselves to the current musical climate - and losing everything that made them so worthwhile in the process.
on 24 May 2006
Well finally got In With The Out Crowd today, to be precise the special edition version, which comes in a leather book and includes a DVD and CD-R with 318 images, 26 mp3's 10 videos and wallpapers etc.
I just finished listening to all the songs through and as I did, I made some brief comments on each song:
Soundtrack of My Life: Lively paced pop punk song, vocals are a mixture of Chris and Roger at same time on verses and chorus with Chris alone at times on the chorus. Lyrics are pretty damn good, the sort of lyrics that you can relate to as with some other Less Than Jake songs (The Science of Selling Yourself Short and Gainseville Rock City spring to my mind).
A Still Life Franchise: Sharp, ska track that is perfect for skanking too but breaks into punk for the chorus. Chris vocals this one.
Overrated: Hard, fastish pop punk song. Perfect for a good mosh! No horns though in this song, it really is pure pop punk. Chorus is pretty beefy and the lyrics rock. Vocals by Chris.
Fall Apart: Another punk pop track, and Roger takes the lead Vocals. Kind of a medium pace track I would say with a bit more meatiness to the guitars than some of the other tracks. Bass and the lower notes seem to prominate the verses while it moves up in the chorus.
In-dependence Day: Another fast punk song, Roger takes the lead vocals on this one, not sure about any horns but its a lively song, definitly one that you could dance in your room to. Vocals are mixed well, Chris and Roger's voices mix well on the chorus.
Don't Fall Asleep On the Subway: This is a pop punk track with plenty of horns chucked in for a nice blend (like Bells whisky). Not a fast paced track but plenty of bounce in my opinion to it. Chris leads vocals on this one.
Landmines and Landslides: Another punk pop song, this time vocaled mainly by Chris but Roger takes chorus. Good guitar use in this song and picks pace on the lead guitar with the chorus but is slightly slower on the verses.
The Rest Of My Life: Vocaled by Chris. Kinda slow, rock song with good lyrics. Almost like a relax, chill and reflect track. Has some pace to it but it doesn't go too quick for the emotion in the song.
Mostly Memories: Fast paced lively track using those horns well on the intro. Yet another Roger track (hey I don't mind, love his voice). This is kinda similair to borders and boundaries in that this track is a punky one, yet features the horns alot too.
Let Her Go: Another ska track, with a lively pace mixed up with some punk. Horns feature on the chorus in a slightly subtle way but too good effect. Chris vocals with Roger aiding on the chorus.
Hopeless Case: Slow rock song. Subtle use of the horns giving a good gentle blend. Vocals aren't as harsh as some other LTJ songs and are a bit more soothing. Main vocals by Chris.
P-S Shock the World: Bouncy, ska track with punk based chorus, good vocals and plenty of horns. Gentle pace. Main vocals by Chris.
Overall this is a great album, plenty of life and bounce just a bit more pop-punky than previous stuff.
I have a US version of this album but it is pretty much the same as this one so I say order today.
on 19 September 2006
Liking Less Than Jake has never been hard at all, every album is the nuts and so bloody good. Liked them for almost 7 years and they are the "sound track to my life"! haha!
When the new one came out i was packing it in excitment as usual, especially as having to wait so long for any new material.
They have never let me down, until that is, this one.
I just can not deal with this sound of theirs that they have newly engineered, people said Anthem was a change in a new direction, but hey!, at least that had punk and ska running through it, this album has none of it, just a tiny bit of ska and thats bad. Have they forgotten what we like, Pezcore, Pez collection, losing streak, Goodbye Blue and White.
Dont get me wrong ive tried to like it, really have but its not good at all. When i listen to it i feel like i could be listening to the radio, its so commercial.
A change in direction is always good but this change goes against everything Less Than Jake are about. Are they going mainstream?
Went and saw them earlier this year at Brixton, and they always do a good set, got more tickets to see them in November with Dropkicks, just hope they dont play to much new stuff.
Did notice in the queue for them there was so many emo people, whats that about!
Basically if you are a true Less Than Jake fan you would have been disappointed with the album, however if you are a true fan you will still love them just as much! coz they are the best band going in this world.
3 stars just out of love!
on 22 August 2006
After listening to Anthem for the past year, when I heard about a new album I was a bit hesitant, but I decided to get it. I have not been dissapointed by it.
All the songs here are great, the best for me is 'Rest Of My Life'. Other great ones are 'Soundtrack Of My Life', 'Still Life Franchise', Overrated' and 'Mostly Memories'. The one that Im not sure about yet is 'Don't Fall Asleep On The Subway', but Im sure in time I will like it.
If you liked Anthem then you will like In With The Out Crowd.