A return to what they know best
Less Than Jake began as a power pop trio later evolving into a hybrid of third-wave ska, punk pop, modern rock and metal. After 16 years of changes in direction and sound, ‘GNV FLA’ sees a return to the days when the guys were fighting to be heard and aiming for world domination; a return to an original and trademark sound the band has become known for.
The album’s title is a thumb’s up to their hometown of Gainesville, Florida with lyrics of ‘The State of Florida’ nodding in that direction, and song title such as ‘City of Gainesville’ heading the same way. Drummer and lyricalist Vinnie Fiorello has done a fine job in relating the tunes and the bands experiences. The descriptive language on ‘Conviction Notice’ is remarkable, and the chorus actually makes for a brilliant sing-a-long session. The vocals are urgent and rugged, and occasionally fast paced throughout the record, but the high point is when the voices of guitarist Chris Demakes and bassist Roger Manganelli are combined on ‘This One's Gonna Leave a Bruise;’ you’ll be impressed.
The bouncy third wave ska grooves, electric riffs, rapid horns and pop punk power all return to complete a sound that worked so well for the lads in the past that they are pressing for the same success for this record, their seventh studio album. It is the talented trombone played by Buddy Schaub that run through practically each and every track that make this album stand out from the rock and indie style tunes hitting the mainstream industry. It is so refreshing to grasp onto something different, something you don’t hear repeated time and time again like much of the songs riding the airwaves.
One of the more interesting, short and differing tracks is ‘The Life of the Party Has Left The Building’. This could be considered an introduction to track following, but it works incredibly well as an interlude to the music the lads have been presenting. This one is gloomy and melodious but breaks into ‘Devil in My DNA’ with emotion and passion.
This is an extraordinary album, with an outstanding use of sounds, musical methods and lyrical meanings. ‘GNV FLA’ is released through the bands own label Sleep It Off Records.