Less Than Jake - Sound The Alarm

Jack Coles reviews Less Than Jake's album, Sound The Alarm

Jack Coles
13th February 2017

This is your bi-annual reminder that ska-punk is an actual genre.

Ska-punk is an actual genre.

That was your bi-annual reminder that ska-punk is an actual genre, which is kicked off this year by veteran band Less Than Jake and their new album Sound the Alarm. Unfortunately, it pales in comparison to most of their other full-length albums.

The first track, ‘Call to Arms’, is their strongest one here. It’s fast-paced, great bass line, and has an element of 2009-era Green Day to it. After that, things go downhill, as the overall sound gets more processed. I’d say the brass tones are too bright, and the autotune in the vocals is excessive. When the pace drops, the quality deteriorates; if you want a good slowish song from LTJ, I’d recommend ‘Nervous in the Alley’.

"it pales in comparison to most of their other full-length albums"

Sound the Alarm sounds nearly identical to their previous album, See the Light. Like, seriously, Spotify went straight from one album to the other and I didn’t even notice. I’m not going to complain about bands using some of the same tones from album to album – after all, I’ve done that myself – but all the tones are the same, making this album feel like an extension of the previous one. Add in the fact that Sound the Alarm is only seven tracks long, it could well be just an expansion. The band themselves and Spotify say “album”, but Wikipedia says “EP”. Nobody seems to be sure which.

Overall, Sound the Alarm is lacking, both in its own identity and the LTJ’s. Ska-punk fans (all sixteen of us) will find it lacking in the old-school punk elements that make Less Than Jake great, but newcomers may appreciate the more refined approach. It’s a far cry from their truly excellent album Hello Rockview, but it’s still a worthy distraction on the inexorable march towards death.

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