Music Review

Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Favorite quotations
Contact Me

Bright beach music

By Less Than Jake

Sleep It Off Records: 2008

Buy it on CD now from
Buy it digitally now from

This review first appeared in Turbula in October 2008.

Gainesville, Florida's Less Than Jake has a sound that may seem very familiar to San Diegan ears. Combining the alt-ska sounds of Buck-O-Nine with the pop-punk of blink-182, Less Than Jake plays a music that is harder-edged than other '90s ska revival bands like No Doubt or Rancid, but with a stronger Caribbean groove than any punk band since the Clash.

But where the Clash could be dark and moody, Less Than Jake's music is eternally bright and sunnny on their tenth album, "GNV FLA."

Appropriate for a band from a college town like Gainesville, the new album is pure party music. Modern beach party music, to be exact. Uptempo and energetic, with a brassy horn section pushing things along even faster, the 14 songs here show that after a decade and a half together, the band has yet to start slowing down. Many a younger speed metal band would struggle to keep pace with the men of Less Than Jake.