Less Than Jake - Sound The Alarm

ALBUM REVIEW: Less Than Jake – ‘Sound The Alarm’ | Coming to St. Augustine Amphitheatre February 25 w/ Pepper

by • February 2, 2017

Florida’s own ska-punk veterans Less Than Jake have just released their new EP Sound The Alarm on Pure Noise Records. This is the band’s first record with Pure Noise and their first release since their 2013 album, See The Light. See them live when the Fcsp-Shop.us Presents Pepper and Less Than Jake Tour” stops at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Saturday, February 25.

GET TICKETS TO PEPPER & LESS THAN JAKE AT ST. AUGUSTINE AMPHITHEATRE ON SAT FEB 25

Pepper and Less Than jake 

ALBUM REVIEW – Less Than Jake: Sound The Alarm

1. “Call To Arms” — Low guitar feedback quietly creeps inside you. The bass line begins to tenderize your ear drums. A few tickles from the cymbals chime in. The guitar licks finally enter the mix along with building drum rolls, and we’re off! That all too familiar voice smacks you in the face from the start with a loud, rude awakening that is the epitome of self-realization. Clearly, it’s time to get your shit together. “I see my reflection, I don’t recognize myself. I know somehow I’ll turn it all around. This is a call to arms, sound the alarm to all the times I’ve swung and missed. I can’t keep breaking myself down like this.”

2. “Whatever the Weather” — Slowing the pace down just a notch, it’s some smooth-groovin’ reggae dub rock and it’s good for the soul. Keeping in line with the first track, this song is about pure determination and making a plan to see things through. “So is it safe to say, It’s gonna take each day to explain away the ricochet that life throws at you. It’s out of my hands, these too heavy times. No matter the weather, I’ll never waiver.”

3. “Bomb Drop” — A few fast riffs start this song off with a kick, quickly complimented by the horn section. It’s at this point in the album concept that would encourage one to want to get off their ass, stop waiting, and make shit happen. Don’t talk about it, be about it. “You can’t keep waiting for the bomb to drop, And hope everything just stops, And falls in place while dark clouds roll away. You can’t keep waiting for the bomb to drop,  And watch the ticking clock, The hourglass, the shadows pass away. Time never waits for you, time won’t ever stop. Time doesn’t need to know, it’s not a countdown clock.

4. “Welcome to My Life” — The chill reggae reverb echoes in your sound chamber. It’s a needed vibe for such a sad song. Sad in a guilty, disappointed sense … but hey, we all make mistakes in life. Shit doesn’t always go as planned. We sometimes take things for granted. We don’t always stop to smell the roses. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. 😉 This is a heartfelt apologetic anthem that is full of hopeful remorse and making amends while understanding life circumstances. “Welcome to my life, so set to say I’m sorry to everybody. I’ve been busy, dizzy living with this feeling now. Might have been days in a haze and I’m losing count, of saying sorry and I walk away.”

5. “Good Sign” —  Ya know, things aren’t always so clear in the beginning. Sometimes we think things will never work out no matter how hard we try. We can be quick to assume. But life has curve balls, so pay attention to what it throws at you. Feelings can’t be turned off or on in their purest form. “We were the first to say, let’s throw it all away. But now we’re fighting through the doom and gloom. It’s never felt this way before, and we took it as a good sign.”

6. “Years Of Living Dangerously” — The tune is a confident uplifting beat, one that I immediately started struttin’ to. Many moons of being reckless can make one feel crazy. The weight of the moon, let alone the weight of the world, is a heavy load. We sometimes try so hard for what might end up being an impossible gain. However, we exist in a dangerous world with all kinds of chances that must be fought for with no regrets. That’s why it’s good to have friends around. “I’ll try not to be so complicated tonight, And let the stars align. I believe in luck and my faith is blind. This one goes to my friends, who might be there when it ends. This goes out to the talks about what we loved and what we lost. Tell me the truth about this cruel cruel world. Cause I don’t think I trust you.”

Track 7 “Things Change” — Wow, what a culmination to an awesome album. Life goes on. The sun is still going to rise. Tomorrow is another day, and the next steps must be taken, and they must be done for you and nobody else. Whether it’s time to grow up, get it together, get over it, move on, or move out, it’s time to wake up and SOUND THE ALARM. “The hand your dealt, Does it mean it’s all over? On cruise control as life just drags us along. How does it feel, Now that the party’s over? Is it too late for us to want something more?”

I love the EP. A good 20 minutes of alternating ska from punk to reggae, and an underlying theme that is a crossbreed between the acceptance of death and the 12-step recovery method, or simply just adapting to getting older, but in a lighthearted ska punk way! I don’t know if that makes sense at all to anyone but me. Nonetheless, the record is a good dose of musical remedies and lyrical prescriptions that Less Than Jake fans will undoubtedly accept with open ears.

Less Than Jake is Chris DeMakes (vocals, guitar), Roger Lima (vocals, guitar, bass), Vinnie Fiorello (drums, lyrics), Buddy Schaub (trombone) and Peter “JR” Wasilewski (saxophone).

GET TICKETS TO PEPPER & LESS THAN JAKE AT ST. AUGUSTINE AMPHITHEATRE ON SAT FEB 25

PEPPER!!!!

So, I’ve been seeing Pepper shows since I first saw them at the 2001 Warped Tour when they played on the one-foot tall Volcom stage. My friends and I were walking around and heard some chill reggae which we immediately gravitated toward. There were maybe 15 to 20 people watching their set. We smoked with them after their set and bought some merch. I knew immediately that these dudes would become one of biggest reggae rock bands, following in the footsteps of the late great Bradley James Nowell and the end of Sublime in 1996. I’ve seen Pepper at least 20 times since and I watched their crowds grow more and more each year as they headlined larger and larger venues, like from The Social to The Beacham, for example. I also witnessed their evolution as band and musicians fluctuate but with a steady rise. Pepper is currently celebrating 10 years of their album ‘No Shame’ which includes fresh vinyl pressings. #NoShameVinyl #Pepperlive #PepperOhana

Pepper is Kaleo Wassman (vocals, guitar), Bret Bollinger (vocals, bass), and Yesod Williams (drums).

Check out some of the The Sober Goat’s sightings of Pepper!

GET TICKETS TO PEPPER & LESS THAN JAKE AT ST. AUGUSTINE AMPHITHEATRE ON SAT FEB 25

Less Than Jake Sound The Alarm Album Review & Preview w/ Pepper by Richie Williams.

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