Album Review: Less Than Jake ‘Greetings and Salutations’

don angelini says hello to ska…


“And on and on and on. Do your worst. I’ll survive another year” sings frontman Chris Demakes on the energetic Bosstones-influenced opener “The New Auld Lang Syne”. I think this sums up how Less Than Jake proudly fly the ska-punk flag high a little over 20 years later in the face of critics. In celebration of this milestone, the band hit the road in 2012 playing the classics along with a few songs from two EPs (Greetings From Less Than Jake and Season Greetings From Less Than Jake) that were available on said tour. Add two brand new songs into the mix and you get Greetings And Salutations. While featuring mostly previous material, the album is extremely well done and another terrific addition to the extensive Less Than Jake discography. What I really love the most about Greetings is it is an complementary extension of sound presented in 2008’s GNV FLA. The songs stick in your head with an incredibly catchy formula musically (the whoa-ohs) and lyrically as heard in “A Return To Headphones”

Photo Courtesy: Fat Wreck Chords
Photo Courtesy: Fat Wreck Chords

I’ve got a trophy case full of mistakes.
Never came in second place.

I’ve been a castaway, I’m flat on my face.
Let me set the record straight.

This is also a prime example of how well bassist Roger Manganelli shares lead vocal duties with Demakes. You really can’t beat the chemistry of those two within the genre. Greetings also offers excellent hooks in “Younger Lungs” and “Harvey Wallbanger” which will have you toasting and singing along much like the other drinking-themed songs in the band’s catalog. On “Flag Holders Union” and “Oldest Trick In The Book”, the horn section flourishes around some of Greetings’ slower and bouncier numbers. Hands down, this is classic Less Than Jake, some of their best material to date, and a fun listen from beginning to end.

Check out Pop-Break’s interview with Less Than Jake from 2011.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.