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Less Than Jake : Sound The Alarm

5.5

Remember when Less Than Jake were awesome? When they were really at their peak? Then they had a strange slump that’s lasted a few years. With their latest release, Sound The Alarm, Less Than Jake are like toddlers learning to walk, trying to find their feet again.
 
After more than two decades of delivering some of the greatest anthems in the ska-punk genre, Less Than Jake have always delivered albums of charm and fury, punching through your sound system with anathematic numbers that scream, ‘Hey, we’re here’. Unfortunately, this release doesn’t really do the same thing.
 
The Gainesville quintet remains reliable, however, delivering trademark ‘whoa-ohs’ and brass blasts that surge. Lead single Whatever The Weather carries that trademark vibe off with ease, while the arse-kicking provided by Call To Arms reminds us of the attractively volatile side Less Than Jake are capable of.  But should we expect more from a four year hiatus? Damn right we should.
 
Ultimately, Sound The Alarm feels like a rush to release; stagnant and rusty. Points are given because it’s Less Than Jake and because it’s ska. And ska is, after all these years, still cool.
 
By Anna Wilson