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Less Than Jake - B Is For B-Sides (Cover Artwork)

Less Than Jake

Less Than Jake: B Is For B-SidesB Is For B-Sides (2004)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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

What other band on Earth could create an entire album of b-sides from a single album and still have a solid disc of music? None besides Less Than Jake come to mind. This collection is a great stopgap between Anthem and their next album, giving the old fans a taste of a less sweet side of the band .
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What other band on Earth could create an entire album of b-sides from a single album and still have a solid disc of music? None besides Less Than Jake come to mind. This collection is a great stopgap between Anthem and their next album, giving the old fans a taste of a less sweet side of the band than has been shown in the past year.

If you've listened to LTJ then you know what's contained on here: songs about growing up, anthems about leaving, and laments about lost friends. This collection treads no new lyrical ground, but fixes some of (what I saw as) Anthem's problems. Pro-tools auto-tune function got nowhere near these mixes, or at least not that you can tell. Roger's voice sounds just nasally enough, but not too high pitched, Chris sounds angry, and the drums sound great, albeit slightly low in the mix. A lot of the songs on here (Bridge and Tunnel Authority, Goodbye in Gasoline, National Anthem, a few others) could have easily been used to beef Anthem up a bit. In fact, Chris's voice sounds incredible on Bridge and Tunnel Authority, without sounding like it took ten takes to get it perfect. My biggest complaint, that being the oddly mixed (and/or absent) horns, about Anthem remains half broken, half fixed on this disc. The horns are definitely more prominent and sound more natural, but they're still a bit muddy in the bottom of the mix. A bit of a disappointment, but they pack a lot more punch than on Anthem.

It's got to be pretty obvious that Anthem wasn't my favorite Less Than Jake release. But it wasn't my least favorite, but it was down there. There have been a few criticisms leveled at it, mine being the sugary sweet production and the seeming down-mixing of the horns into the background. When this B Is For B-Sides was announced and I heard the first two tracks, my spirits soared, because those two tracks sounded like everything that Anthem wasn't. The more (oddly) more anthemic song writing, the harder grittier mix, and a sense of urgency. Now, it's obvious that these feelings were reactionary, but they still hold true to some extent. This album isn't everything that Anthem wasn't, but it's a great collection of songs that I'm glad Vinnie and the crew let see the light of day.

I grabbed this from iTunes for 7.99, which was a killer price. I have no clue how much it is in stores, but it's more than worth your money, and shouldn't be passed over as just another B-Sides collection.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Less Than Jake - Hello RockviewLess Than Jake - Borders and BoundariesLess Than Jake - Losing StreakThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Rancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldLess Than Jake - AnthemStreetlight Manifesto - Everything Goes NumbThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl Rose

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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.
Anonymous (October 9, 2005)

i love this cd..would loved it to be bit longer perhaps..mayb thats the only problem with it. this cd however reminds me of 'hello rockview' which is a nice thing to be reminded of, in a way it is more classic LTJ than 'anthem' and 'borders and boundries' were and strangly as it is anthem b-sides i find it gives the feeling that it could have been the cd after 'hello rockview' songs like 'national anthem' and 'robots 1 humans zero' really give a good new LTJ feeling, giving the album a contrating feeling - the next step from anthem feeling!

falloutboy_fan42 (October 5, 2005)

does this cd have shes gonna break soon? if it does...then its great, that song is the best..well..a.lmost

falloutboy_fan42 (October 5, 2005)

Does this CD have Shes gonna BReak Soon on it? I love that song...it's pretty much the best song ever....well...almost.

Anonymous (May 7, 2005)

great!!!

Anonymous (August 9, 2004)

Anthem ruled, lots, this CD rules, lots quit analysing music (all this "undermixed, faded" crap) and start enjoying music! Whiners.

opivykid (July 29, 2004)

Ya I know, seriously. I mean, shit, how could you live on, without knowing who posted that comment?!

theevilmonkey (July 29, 2004)

Thank god! I really got worried when I saw that the post was made anonymously. Thank god you logged in to save us all from an untimely death.

opivykid (July 28, 2004)

Last comment was by me... forgot to log in.

Anonymous (July 28, 2004)

Yeah, this cd owns. Less Than Jake just doesn't put out bad cd's (yep, anthem owned too, besides "she's gonna break soon", of course). A "10", just like all the rest.

Tahoejeff (July 28, 2004)

"What other band on Earth could create an entire album of b-sides from a single album and still have a solid disc of music? None besides Less Than Jake come to mind"...The Living End would be that band. I'm pretty sure weezer could pull it off too

Anonymous (July 28, 2004)

dude below me, i actually think the lyrics on this are better than anthems. what lyrics do you have a problem w/? jay frenzal is pretty bad, but its pretty much a joke song. i think the outtro to the national anthem is some of the best lines vinnie's ever written. 'my american dream is to have it a little bit better than just a force of habit'. thats good.

theevilmonkey (July 28, 2004)

I don't get it. I didn't love Anthem, but I like this even less. I think the real reason I don't like this collection of songs is that they have to be a collection of absolutely the worst lyrical pieces LTJ has ever produced.

I know, I know- "LTJ has never had really good lyircs, they're always very repetitive, but it's not annoying", you say, and well, I agreed up until they released this B-Sides album. None of these sound complete, and I guess you'd expect that if they didn't make it to the album. (Although, for clarification, because I don't really know, do they go in and fiddle around with the mixing of the songs AFTER they decide which ones they're going to put on the cd? Because then I could understand some of the poor mixing.) The lyrical quality, however, seems to just plummet to a terrible level. Slight exceptions are Goodbye in Gasoline and B&T Authority, which are the two best songs on the album.

The only other thing I have to add is the artwork is absolutely hilarious and I commend Less Than Jake for once again have terrific artwork on their album.

Anonymous (July 27, 2004)

fake fake band.

i-type-poorly (July 27, 2004)

"The only thing that pisses me off is all the songs without horns. Its like a twinkie without the cream filling. Its missing something that you know in your heart should be there, but its not so you imagine it. And everything is alright. Except that creme filling is still not there. Those bastards."

You mean songs like Motto, Al's War, Throw The Brick, Black Coffee, Last Hour of The Last Day of Work, and Just Like Frank? All those songs fuckin rock! I'd rather hear a well written song without horns every once and a while rather than a perfect song be ruined by this unwritten rule that every LTJ song needs horns.

Publikstuntz88 (July 27, 2004)

theyre ok

Anonymous (July 27, 2004)

I agree. Anthem broke my heart, and this CD almost makes up for it. The only thing that pisses me off is all the songs without horns. Its like a twinkie without the cream filling. Its missing something that you know in your heart should be there, but its not so you imagine it. And everything is alright. Except that creme filling is still not there. Those bastards.

Anonymous (July 27, 2004)

"While it may have not been all from the same album, Alkaline Trio's "Alkaline Trio" is probably the most solid b-side album I have ever heard."

while that album does rule, its not a bsides collection, its a singles/7" collection. I will admit that it smokes goddammit and maybe i'll catch fire though.

this jake album is fucking sick. if you were disillisioned by anthem and borders/boundaries, go get it now. if i had to complare it to any of their albums i'd pick a mix between rockview/losing streak. sounds like it came outta 97. its like the last suicide machines album, its almost too good to be true.

speaking of bsides collections, anyone remember metallica's 'reload'......................... FART!!

Anonymous (July 27, 2004)

"uhh...this review was ripped from pastepunk.com. if you can't come up with your own ideas at least credit the source."

uhh..another stupid punknews.org net nerd flying off the handle at the first opportunity to shit on someone w/o doing any research first.

BSD (July 26, 2004)

OMB Boy Sux Dix!

Fuzzy (July 26, 2004)

uhh...this review was ripped from pastepunk.com. if you can't come up with your own ideas at least credit the source.
I'll give you a dollar to look at my profile and goto my webpage, then match the name there to the name on the Pastepunk review. I'll bet you'll find they are the same. Jordan published my review also.

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

uhh...this review was ripped from pastepunk.com. if you can't come up with your own ideas at least credit the source.

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

This cd is what I expected. No songs that jump out at you but a lot of good solid tunes. I like Anthem a lot more.

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

My ex-girlfriend had a sick obsession with this band. It's safe to say the relationship was a short one.

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

Penis! heheheheehhe

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

"What other band on Earth could create an entire album of b-sides from a single album and still have a solid disc of music?"

While it may have not been all from the same album, Alkaline Trio's "Alkaline Trio" is probably the most solid b-side album I have ever heard.

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

Well I though that I had read somewhere that LTJ actually recorded 29 tracks during the whole anthem session, 14 on anthem, plus 12 on b-sides = 26 where are the other three?
:( all in all another great album from Less Than Jake, Vinnie's lyrics rock, Roger and Chris are right on, and Buddy and JR got a lot more play time, hooray for the horns! And to all you haters, Vinnie has even said in his journal that the next album will be tons more ska, even reggae-ish, so quit whining pansies.

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

they've done it again. Blows anthem out of the water and altough athem wasn't their best it was still good. We can always count on Less Than Jake to make some great punk rock

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

anywhere i can download some of these songs?

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

What does BSD Stand for anyway huh?
I know, lets play a game where we all guess
Winner gets to punch you in the face

MY guess: Bull-shitting Douche.

Who's going to guess next?

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

The dude below me sounds like he's trying to talk Vader back to the light.

That said, this album kicks as much ass as the Rebels did on Endor.

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

Umm, Jesse, it seems to me, and I may be wrong, that if you liked a band when you were younger, then there must be something redeemable in their music years later that you would like. I would think that part of your love for their music, even the tiniest amount, would still be in you. Do you actually think that Less Than Jake are terrible now that you're older?

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

To the guy who asked why people fawn over Less Than Jake, I have an answer. It's because they like the music. Seriously, if you don't like it, totally fine, but, others do. Not everyone is the same person when it comes to what they like. That's how it is.

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

I really do adore this CD. Great stuff on here.

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

Oh memories....

When I took in Ltj's set @ Warped 01' at the Skydome in Toronto Ontario they had the crowd perform the biggest circle pit I have ever seen (save for the one the Beastie Boys spawned @ Lollapooloza 97? in Barrie Ont.) Ltj was playing "Last One Out of Liberty City" and Beasties were playing "Sure shot"

Barkley

BSD (July 25, 2004)

I'm not on 24/7. I'm probably on the computer 2 hours a day at most, just at different times. Else, I'd have responded to the negative posts sooner.

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

That last hour of work song on "Borders" is up there for my fav Ltj tunes.

Barkley

i-type-poorly (July 25, 2004)

Chris, you are a definitive fucktard. First of all The Pez Collection isn't a b-sides album. There are a few scattered rare tracks, but mostly it's choice cuts from their LPs. A "best of..." if you will.
Second of all, to say songs like "Al's War" "Liquor Store" and "Automatic" blow big time... is.. just... *shakes head* Then you tried to compensate with that "cup of tea" excuse... You son-of-a-bitch.

BSD, we get it. You prefer old school punk. The shtick us getting tired. Do shut up.

Yup Jay Frenzal is the Rhomb dude. LTJ has been friends with them for a long assed time.

And to end on a positive note, you can hear Buddy chiming in with a harmony or two in "portrait.." during the chorus. Woo, go Buddy!

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

"About 4 years ago I bought The Pez Collection, LTJ's other B-Sides album, and it blowed big time. I don't think I will ever own another LTJ release---Not my cup of tea"

the pez collection was a collection of songs from all of their albums, it wasnt a bside collection.

bemused (July 25, 2004)

About 4 years ago I bought The Pez Collection, LTJ's other B-Sides album, and it blowed big time. I don't think I will ever own another LTJ release---Not my cup of tea

-chris-

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

is the jay frenzal they talk about the singer of frenzal rhomb?

Jesse (July 25, 2004)

Real music = shit that doesn't suck.

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

DAAAAAAAAAAAAMN! BSD is on this site 24/7 he replies to every review first and everything. I feel sorry for you young boy

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

Remember Black Flag's big return tour, they sucked shit!

BSD (July 25, 2004)

No, it's as stupid as people being nostalgic for Poison.

"Oh shit, those guys were great!"

No they weren't!

Fuzzy (July 25, 2004)

Entry number 2 at www.m-w.com:
2 : a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition; also : something that evokes nostalgia
Yes, people are yearning for 6 years ago, not that uncommon. Granted, that would have put you pre-puberty and nearly into the single digits of age, so it may be hard to imagine how much stuff gets packed into your high school and college years, and how fast they fly by. Enjoy it while you can.

BSD (July 25, 2004)

You idiots are nostalgic for something that was only a couple of years ago.

"Yeah, dude, remember before we grew our hair out and Blink 182 was a little younger but still sucked a lot?"

Fuck you guys!

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

i've always enjoyed this band, though i haven't bought anything since Losing Streak, and won't. They do play great live shows though. I saw a Halloween show at the Metro in chicago in maybe '98 and it was super fun. Everyone who was in costume got a backstage pass and LTJ bought pizza. Free 7" 's were given out after the show too.

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

To the guy who recalled the 1996/1997 tour with Blink and LTJ, you're forgetting the third angle of the TRIANGLE OF POWER.... that tour had three bands.... Bigwig, Blink, LTJ.

Andf it was amazing.

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

haha jesse fag.

MrLuke (July 25, 2004)

Those damned horns!!

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

Jessie graduated from Less than Jake to "real music" like Spitalfield and Count the Stars

Barkley

P.s I'm sorry Jessie

toma (July 25, 2004)

i like this album... it's good.
it's short but it reminds me of the older days of ltj. i liked anthem too, but this is some good stuff, it sounds like it could've come out between rockview and b&b

TJmoney (July 24, 2004)

"i miss the golden age of less than jake. and yes, i mean losing streak. i would give anything for a Throwback Tour with them and Blink 182 reincarnating the 1996 Losing Streak/Dude Ranch tour. they could only play songs from that album and before. it would be the greatest tour of all time."

that tour would be very badass...

Everything LTJ puts out is awesome (shes gonna break soon is their worst song ever but I like anthem as a whole even she's gonna break soon doesnt bother me on it)

I really like A Tribe Called Quest

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

Jesse, please inform us, what is real music???????

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

"What other band on Earth could create an entire album of b-sides from a single album and still have a solid disc of music? None besides Less Than Jake come to mind."

Apparently somebody's never heard of the Smashing Pumpkins.

tommy_jarvis (July 24, 2004)

Well, some of you hit the nail on the head. The mixing is horrible and it definitely sounds like they're trying to hide the horns. Even live, the horns don't sound right. However, I came up with a simple answer to all of these problems: Bring Back A Baritone Sax! If you will recall, Borders and Boundaries was the last record with a Baritone on it and you could hear actually hear the horns! The horns weren't just filler for when someone wasn't singing, which is what it seems like they are now, assuming you can actually pick the horns out of these extremely polished tracks. These are not bad songs by any means, but I wish they would have asked me or some other horn fanatic before they put out another record.
The DVD should be great though...

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

i really like less than jake, but i'm still a huge fan of the older stuff like hello rockview. although some tracks on this album (you could say) do stand out others tend to fade away. i really like the powerful chorus's in some songs, track 2 and 10 happen to be may favourite because i do miss the old up stroked guitar and fun horn lines. this is deff worth your money for any ltj fan.

Fuzzy (July 24, 2004)

Man, you're awesome. EE LEE TIST

Jesse (July 24, 2004)

This used to be one of my favorite bands.

In 7th grade.

And then I started listening to real music.

SOYBOMB (July 24, 2004)

I enjoyed Anthem more and I could see why these songs were not chosen to be on the actual album...

...in any case, this disc is okay.

Peace,
-SOYBOMB-

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

i miss the golden age of less than jake. and yes, i mean losing streak. i would give anything for a Throwback Tour with them and Blink 182 reincarnating the 1996 Losing Streak/Dude Ranch tour. they could only play songs from that album and before. it would be the greatest tour of all time.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

Great record.
I have no idea how this came out of the"anthem" sessions. It sounds like the b-sides from losing streak and hello rockview. There are some damn good songs on here. Its only 10 bucks at Best Buy. Pick it up.
And the artwork is funny as hell.
It's good to see that less than jake is back, with a b-sides record nonetheless.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

give up..thursday/tbs/brandnew have you all beat.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

Remember back when punk bands put all of their songs on their albums?

sprainedsoul (July 24, 2004)

Good review. I've been really digging on this album since it arrived last week. There are a few songs on here ("Cigarette Smoker", "Bridge and Tunnel", "National Anthem") that deserve to become LTJ staples. On a side note, I caught their show in Gainesville at Market Street last week, and they played "Portrait of a Cigarette Smoker". Rock. This is a great summertime record.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

sleep it off is an amazing track. one of my favorites on the album. 9-1-1 to anyone is also a great track. this is an awesome collection of songs to hold me over untill a new album comes out.

lostinthecrowd13 (July 24, 2004)

"almost all of these songs are really good, i mean theres no "shes gonna break soon" but i do like it."

You liked "shes gonna break soon"? That was the worst LTJ song ever created. As far as this cd goes I don't really like it much. Its short and not much better than Anthem. LTJ's greatness stopped at "Hello Rockview". Hopefully they'll stop trying to go pop punk and go back to being ska legends like they once were. Atleast I hope.....

inagreendase (July 24, 2004)

Er, that is,

inagreendase (July 24, 2004)

Pretty short [>28 mins.] as far as LTJ's full-lengths usually go, but it's actually a little better than Anthem. It's some fun, catchy tunes, definitely with the urgency that was mostly missing from the last one.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

i love less than jake, but this isn't amazing by any stretch. the first 6 songs are awesome, then it starts to tail off. a few near the end should maybe have been the lost b-sides.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

I bought this album as a skeptic, after Anthem I wasn't to sure what to think about LTJ anymore. I'm glad I did because I think it's the best work they've done since Hello Rockview. If you didn't know it was "b-sides" record you'd think LTJ wrote a killer ska-punk cd. The fast ska upbeats are back, and to who said the horns are murky is either deaf or an idiot. The horns are all over the place and much more prominent than how they were on Anthem and Borders. Give this record and chance before writing it/them off

gladimnotemo (July 24, 2004)

...definitely...

Sorry.

i-type-poorly (July 24, 2004)

For a B-sides album, this is a pretty dull collection. Nothing like the wacky covers, acoustic tunes, and remixes in Goodbye Blue And White. I was expecting some tunes too off-mainstrem for Warner Brothers to allow on anthem. The whole thing sounds like what everyone else says B&B sounds llike: too similar sounding and very undermixed. And i agree, you have to struggle to hear the horns, it's sad.
All that doesn't matter to me after a few listens. I've been listening to it all week and only 2 of the songs haven't stuck (thanks to ho-hum lyrics). The best this album can be listened to is as the missing puzzle pieces of anthem. (Jay Frenzal should have been that album's traditional "guy the band knows" song, Bridge & Tunnel should have taken place of the Look What Happened remix, and National Anthem would have been a great tittle track to get the full production treatment.)

And Roger sings Bridge & Tunnel, not Chris. Unless you're complimenting his "i say we just celebrate" line...

This album sounds like songs that didn't make B&B. Not what i expected, but i fucking love B&B, so i give this a hearty OK sign. Even though they're still making quality music at this point, LTJ's next album will be the verdict on whether or not they have fallen into medicority.

8dollarclarinetsolo (July 24, 2004)

almost all of these songs are really good, i mean theres no "shes gonna break soon" but i do like it.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

I want this cd but I'm poor.

I also want about 1,000 other cds also.

I guess we can't win them all

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

When you spell a word wrong three times in a row... then it's definitely not a typo

gladimnotemo (July 24, 2004)

"What other band on Earth could create an entire album of b-sides from a single album and still have a solid disc of music?"

Definately definately definately NOT Less Than Jake.

I just don't see why people fawn over this band.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

Wheres the velvet teen review? I mean seriously....

CallingLondon (July 24, 2004)

nice. i dont' own anthem but from what i've heard of it, it just seems very...drawn out. there's no urgency. granted i haven't heard every song, and the song writing is still pretty solid as far as less than jake goes, but i wanna hear this. kettle chips are good.

BSD (July 24, 2004)

Where are my Cursive/Adam Green reviews? Did you get them yet? Did you like them? Was it TOO MUCH?

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