Less Than Jake - Greetings & Salutations (Cover Artwork)

Less Than Jake

Less Than Jake: Greetings & SalutationsGreetings & Salutations (2012)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

For all intents and purposes, Greetings & Salutations, the new release from ska-punk lifers Less Than Jake, could be considered a new full-length in the same way one views the Bouncing Souls' Ghosts on the Boardwalk. Comprising two limited edition, tour-only EPs and two brand new tracks, it's a fitt.

For all intents and purposes, Greetings & Salutations, the new release from ska-punk lifers Less Than Jake, could be considered a new full-length in the same way one views the Bouncing Souls' Ghosts on the Boardwalk. Comprising two limited edition, tour-only EPs and two brand new tracks, it's a fitting way to wrap up the band's 20th anniversary celebration. Here's classic LTJ for ya'll.

Given that the material was all conceived around the same time-ish, the collection sounds pretty cohesive. It even has an ebb ‚??n' flow vibe spread around its 12 tracks, further strengthening an argument for treating it like a proper LP. Oh, and it's good. At this point, LTJ doesn't necessarily need to reinvent themselves, but it's still nifty hearing Chris Demakes and Roger Manganelli come through the speakers as clear and powerful as ever. These tunes are in the classic tradition of Hello Rockview and Losing Streak, with "Life Led Out Loud," "Harvey Wallbanger" and opener "The New Auld Lang Syne" particularly standing out.

Of course, the record does have little signs here and there indicating that it wasn't fussed over as much as a real full-length might have been. In some ways this works out; I love GNV FLA, but it was a little too polished. Greetings sounds solidly produced, clean but not oppressively so. It's not particularly punchy or flashy, but it suits the material.

The flipside to this quality, though, is that the songs sometimes come off a little undercooked. Musically, it's great. LTJ know their formula. But lyrically, they stick to their common topics too much (losing, being stuck in the same dang town), and rely heavily on clichés. This is especially egregious when the band try to sell them on the chorus, like the "Who died and made you king?" hook from "Goodbye Mr. Personality." It's not bad, just not particularly inspiring.

It's for this reason alone that Greetings & Salutations is held back from being truly great. Otherwise, this is exactly what fans want and need: twelve more ska-punk gems to rattle their brains. Happy anniversary.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
claro (February 19, 2013)

Chris Demakes just did a pretty in-depth interview about Greetings, touring, 20 years, crapping on Good Charlotte, etc...: http://www.theinertia.com/music-art/interview-less-than-jakes-chr is-demakes/

Been listening closer to G&S this morning and enjoying it more than I thought I would...

ianissuperrad (January 7, 2013)

I thought the songs on the first EP (minus Oldest Trick In The Book) were all really damn good, while I found the second EP a little underwhelming. As a whole album it's a lot more cohesive though. I'd rank it in the second half of their discography, but I enjoy it all the same.

telegraphrocks (January 4, 2013)

I really dig this.

davebrave4 (January 4, 2013)

Glad this got reviewed; I might have passed on it otherwise.
In terms of GNV FLA, I agree with the poster towards the bottom that it is a great album but it sounds like they were trying too hard to sound like old LTJ after how much everybody hated on the incredibly overproduced and underwhelming In with the Out Crowd.

paulrulzdood (January 4, 2013)

not as good as GNV FLA (which i agree with some other commentors is way-underrated and i'd put it 3rd in their catalog behind only Losing Streak and Rockview), but still, it's really good. It's classic LTJ sound, it's raw, there's minimal filler, it's rock solid. I'd put it ahead of B&B and Out Crowd at the least, and yea, just nice to still be getting quality material out of these guys 20 years deep into their career.


Piata (January 4, 2013)

I loved the two EPs. Together they make a solid record but I feel like the two additional songs on the LP are the weakest of the bunch. Regardless, I think this is the best album LTJ has put out since Borders and Boundaries. Ya the lyrics retread some tired ground, but lines like "we are recession royalty" make me laugh and remember why I started liking LTJ in the first place.

chipsahoycookie (January 4, 2013)

GNV FLA was great. I'm not sure how anyone can knock it. This album sounds forced. The choruses are repetitious and boring on this. These songs aren't bad, just nothing special and pretty forgettable. It's clear LTJ shines when they are more focused on making a full length with a good producer. Fingers crossed for them recording at the Blasting Room.

lanceuppercut (January 4, 2013)

I have to disagree on a couple points here. First of all I thought GNV FLA was amazing in both production and song quality; it is one of my favorite albums by LTJ. On the other hand, G&S sounds awful to me production-wise. Listening to one of these songs after any other LTJ song from the past 14 years makes it painfully obvious. The songs themselves are good with a couple throwaways but the cohesiveness feels off, probably since I'm used to the sequencing of the two separate EPs. This is a good LTJ album, but not great.

ksupilot (January 4, 2013)

Best LTJ album in a long time. I liked GNV FLA, but that one felt forced and like they were trying to sound like old LTJ, G&S sounds much more natural.

renaldo69 (January 4, 2013)

Not bad at all

9mind8 (January 3, 2013)

always had a soft spot for LTJ. I liked GNV FLR but only listened to it a couple of times. Too much new music, not enough time to get to appreciate it!

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