This Autumn, Less Than Jake returned to the scene with their first original album since 2008’s GNV FLA. As one of my favourite bands not just in the genre but across music as a whole, I was naturally very excited by the news of its impending release. After hearing My Money Is On The Long Shot, the first track released back in early October I was already fairly confident in Noisey’s assertion that See The Light was going to be a return to form for one of the genre’s most ever-present groups, as both GNV FLA and in particular In
With The Out Crowd before it, while not being bad albums by any stretch of the word, were certainly something of a departure from their earlier sound that was oh so pleasing to the ears.
And once I got hold of the album, it was little time before the initial predictions were ringing true. The album’s opener Good Enough wastes no time in leaping straight into those halcyon brass tunes that were so sorely underrepresented in their previous two outings, and the vocals are still as catchy as they ever were. Certainly a promising start. My Money Is On The Long Shot then leads into Jump, which sees Chris and the boys turning up the guitar riffs ever so slightly as they implore you to “step to the edge and take the jump”, whilst the lyrics on a whole already begin to paint a picture of this album’s underlying theme – one of refusing to settle for a dissatisfying existence, of battling to change your station in life should you so desire.
For The Love Of Punk were very astute in their review as they noted that the catchy tunes and shouted choruses bely a much deeper meaning, and this is at its most evident in the simply brilliant Do The Math and Give Me Something To Believe In, Inc. – proper genre-epitomising anthems that manage to be fun and upbeat whilst simultaneously conveying an important message. Other standout tracks (which says a lot about their quality given the generally high standard of the whole album) are American Idle and album closer Weekends All Year Long, both emphatic in their driving home of the point that it is important to make the most of the time you have; don’t get bogged down by trivial routines, chase the satisfaction that you know you deserve.
See The Light, then, is, above all else, a purely great album. It’s a quality that’s difficult to quantify, but LTJ have definitely achieved it here. It’s pretty much objectively their best work since Anthem came out a decade ago, and it’s the closest they’ve come to recapturing the sound of 1997’s seminal Hello Rockview. In short, it’s a striking return to form and one that fans of both band and genre would be doing themselves a disservice to ignore. At thirteen tracks it’s a sufficiently meaty offering, but the fact that each track averages out around 2:45 long means that even if you find one you don’t like, you’ll be on to the next one in no time.
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