Shocking to probably many of you, Less Than Jake is still around and cranking out ska. Even more shocking to most of you, that music is still pretty damn good. Now I know that ever since they abandoned ska with their erhm… pop-friendly In With The Out Crowd that they lost a lot of their older fans, including myself. However they had a return to form with their 2008 release of GNV FLA that was incredibly solid, and let me go ahead and say that their compilation Greetings and Salutations is just as good.
Greetings and Salutations combines two previously released tour only EPs released in the past two years (Greetings From and Season Greetings), adds a few new songs, and makes for a surprisingly cohesive album.
Opening up with “The New Auld Lang Syne”, a song about personal perseverance, the chorus also serves as an analogy for these ska-punk lifers in a time when ska could be considered on life support: “Do your worst I’ll survive another year”. From there we kick straight into good ole’ fashioned high energy punk with horns we love on “Younger Lungs”. The third and arguably the catchiest song on the entire album “Goodbye Mr. Personality” is a mid-tempo ska jam that is all the proof needed that Less Than Jake can still write incredibly killer ska.
The album continues to barrage through the 12 tracks of solid ska punk, with some of the standouts being the very ‘whoa’ heavy “Harvey Wallbanger” or the circle pit inducing “Flag Holders Union.”
Now I’ve had friends ask me if Greetings and Salutations holds a candle to their classics such as Pezcore or Hello Rockview and that’s not really a fair comparison. All of those albums have an incredibly nostalgic value attached to them, helping me get through some of the roughest patches of my teenage years (and admittedly, I’ll STILL listen to Great American Sharpshooter after a breakup). Yes those albums are classics and will always be my favorite, and if you’re new to LTJ then I recommend checking those out first (even though they won’t have the same nostalgic value if you’re new). However, if you’re looking for some solid ska-punk in the veins of their older work, definitely get Greetings And Salutations, I like it a lot more than I expected.