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The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Let's Face It (Cover Artwork)

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones: Let's Face ItLet's Face It (1997)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

As much as I'd love to start this review with a funny anecdote connecting me to the Bosstones in any way, sadly, I have none. So I'm gonna plough on and get to the point, hopefully saving you a couple of minutes of your life and giving you fresh motivation to read the review and argue below. This.
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As much as I'd love to start this review with a funny anecdote connecting me to the Bosstones in any way, sadly, I have none. So I'm gonna plough on and get to the point, hopefully saving you a couple of minutes of your life and giving you fresh motivation to read the review and argue below.

This is the Bosstones' fifth album, and was released a good three years after Question The Answers. In this gap they ditched the roughness of their recordings, lost a bassist, softened a growl and gained the same bassist back. This resulted in a clean, catchy and platinum masterpiece.

I reckon this album was the make or break album for the Bosstones, at least in terms of being on a major label. Before this album they seemed to be a band that was on a thin rope, in severe danger of dropping of the radar, in a mainstream audience's eyes. After, they became million-selling playas, before releasing the substandard Pay Attention. It's no surprise this is the album that smashed the Bosstones into popular ville. It's their poppiest, catchiest, friendliest and most accessible album, and also features "that" song. The first single to be released of this album was "The Impression That I Get," an extreme contender for "the song that sticks in your head FOREVER" award.

The album also loses the "party" edge of past albums. No longer does it sound like the songs have been recorded in a bar surrounded by friends, but the slick production gives me the image of a cold, metal recording room, of which you need a key card to access and a pass to speak to the band. And of course, this was the first album where Dicky's trademark growl really began to fade. Nevertheless, these songs are still extremely well-written and structured, breaching topics as diverse as intolerance of racists ("Let's Face It"), alcoholism ("Another Drinkin' Song") and oil that is royal ("Royal Oil"). And, despite the production and obvious successes at making it sound catchy, most of these songs contain a serious message that few bands can put across in such an accessible way. Lyrics such as "He didn't hit me for a home, or hit me up 'cause he was cold, he was addicted to drugs, and I could see that in his eyes" still deliver a potent story of how Dicky was beaten up by a drug user for a fix, but how he still believes that the user needed more help than he did. Truly great songwriting.

Despite these small flaws, the album still manages to maintain the Bosstones' record of never putting out a bad album, and serves as another constant reminder of how this band is still the best ska band ever. The plaid suits only sweeten the deal.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Operation Ivy - Operation IvyThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Question the AnswersRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesLess Than Jake - Losing StreakThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionThe Mighty Mighty Bosstones - A Jackknife To A SwanAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseJawbreaker - Dear You

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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.
readmag (June 10, 2006)

Actually, the Bosstones spawned Avoid One Thing, Chubby, Nate Albert's new punk band, among other crappy things no one cares about. So your point still holds.

Anonymous (June 9, 2005)

Slapstick has since spawned:
1. Tuesday
2. The Broadways
3. Alkaline Trio
4. The Lawrence Arms
5. Duvall
(Their drummer Rob Kellenberger sat in all over Chicago for jazz sessions also).

Mighty Mighty Bosstones have spawned:

----------------------

Operation Ivy spawned
1.Rancid
2.Common Rider

we have a new winner

Anonymous (March 17, 2005)

haha this place is really comin through w/ bosstones reviews the past few months. lol. love it. omg. pick it up pick it up! chchchcchch chchchchc! skank skank skank!

its 97 and i'm in highschool, i have a wallet chain and RBF and these guys are my fav. bands. twilight zone kids. twilight zone.

paul

Anonymous (March 16, 2005)

Hey you fucking rude boys, quit arguing over which dead ska band is better. Theyre all dead, and thats the important thing.

Praise allah that ska is over.

Cos (March 15, 2005)

"To whoever said Slaptstick is skapunk and bosstones are just ska.. you really missed the point. Bosstones are "ska-core" or even "ska-metal" if you really want to get particular.. "ska" would be stuff like The Toasters, Madness, etc."

Don't get into semantics about labeling ska. Its too confusing. TECHNICALLY, the Toasters are 3rd Wave ska (or a second wave 2Tone act) and the Madness are a 2Tone band, who were the group of bands that took ska and applied a punk aesthetic after the first wave of punk in England. Ska (or traditional Ska) is stil the Skatalites or Hepcat.

But saying that anything is "ska-metal" is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. The Bosstones are ska-core. They pretty much invented the term, though Murphy's Law beg to differ.

--Cos
PS. This album is fucking fantastic

Anonymous (March 14, 2005)

88 fingers owned

Anonymous (March 14, 2005)

To whoever said Slaptstick is skapunk and bosstones are just ska.. you really missed the point. Bosstones are "ska-core" or even "ska-metal" if you really want to get particular.. "ska" would be stuff like The Toasters, Madness, etc.

That said, Bosstones were definitely the best ska-core/punk/metal band of the 90's, followed closely by slapstick who made up for their lack of instrumental prowess with sheer catchiness and energy.

And everything the guys from slapstick have done since breaking up has by far paled in comparison. Alkaline and Larry don't even come close.

And to get even further off the topic, 88 Fingers Louie was also better than Alkaline, but not better than Rise Against, which means RA > A3.

I really shouldn't post on here when I'm this bored.

Anonymous (March 14, 2005)

Wasn't this their first "Clueless" cameo album?

NO -

thirtyseconds (March 14, 2005)

Shit... only just read this review. Good job Crook.

readmag (March 13, 2005)

This album was one of the greatest disappointments of my life when it first came out. I have never completely recovered.

That said, it still beats any skapunk that came out after it**, though that might not be saying much.

**with the exception of Planet Smashers' Mighty, the best ska album over the past 5 years.

theundergroundscene (March 13, 2005)

the last minute and a half of "another drinkin' song" could be the best ska moment of all time

there is NOTHING that beats that horn part

that said, this is the best ska band of all time

and the bosstones at their worst are better than most bands at their best

CrookedSuperhero (March 13, 2005)

It's not out of the question, but if it is gonna happen it'll probably be a while.

Anonymous (March 12, 2005)

Are these guys trully finished? I know Dicky is doing the radio gig and Joe has the crappy Avoid One Thing going. But is a reunion out of the question? Anyone?

Anonymous (March 12, 2005)

'Twas a pretty good album. Not as good as "Pay Attention," especially the one that was released on double colored vinyl and featured four unreleased songs.
And Slapstick rocks my socks. And did anyone ever listen to Jeffries Fan Club?

Anonymous (March 12, 2005)

this is pretty strange seeing this review because out of the blue i have been pulling out my bosstones CDs and havent listen to them in years. I think this CD is really by far one of there best and its rock solid....person favorite..nevermind me

ZDP (March 12, 2005)

I bought this today for 3 dollars. Best buy of my entire week.

Anonymous (March 12, 2005)

Smoke weed forever!!!

Crookedsuperhero (March 12, 2005)

Boo-berns.

boba_fett (March 12, 2005)

boo-herns.

Crookedsuperhero (March 12, 2005)

Below the Bosstones and above Reel Big Fish.

Hope this helps.

boba_fett (March 12, 2005)

where does operation ivy fit in then? link 80?

Crookedsuperhero (March 12, 2005)

Slapstick has since spawned:
1. Tuesday
2. The Broadways
3. Alkaline Trio
4. The Lawrence Arms
5. Duvall
(Their drummer Rob Kellenberger sat in all over Chicago for jazz sessions also).

You forgot Collosal. And the Bosstones spawned Avoid One Thin.

Anonymous (March 12, 2005)

Not their best I don't think, but still pretty fucking good, especially "Rascal King"

Joe

CrookedSuperhero (March 12, 2005)

The Bosstones had staying power.

joeg (March 12, 2005)

"Mighty Mighty Bosstones have spawned:
----------------------
For that simple fact you have to respect what Slapstick did. And they wrote some pretty damn good songs. And their reunion show at the Fireside when I was in high school changed my life. Bosstones lost it ("it" being what decifired them from every other ska band pumped out during the late 90's.) after "Question the Answers"

Who cares that the Bosstones didn't spawn any new and incredible bands? Head to head, Bosstones are the kings of skacore. Even if the Bosstones lost it after QTA as you say, the 5 records they put out to that point outweigh any and all output from Slapstick.

notfeelingcreative (March 11, 2005)

Good record, but hasn't stood the test of time in my collection the wat "Question the Answers" has.

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

Gross! This score is for Slapstick & the Chicago legacy created in their wake-

Barkley

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

I've honestly never listened to slapstick so i won't comment on how they compare to the bosstones. But, the Bosstones did not lose "it" after question the answers, even though i do enjoy their first four albums overall more than their last 3.

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

Slapstick has since spawned:
1. Tuesday
2. The Broadways
3. Alkaline Trio
4. The Lawrence Arms
5. Duvall
(Their drummer Rob Kellenberger sat in all over Chicago for jazz sessions also).

Mighty Mighty Bosstones have spawned:

----------------------

For that simple fact you have to respect what Slapstick did. And they wrote some pretty damn good songs. And their reunion show at the Fireside when I was in high school changed my life. Bosstones lost it ("it" being what decifired them from every other ska band pumped out during the late 90's.) after "Question the Answers"

boba_fett (March 11, 2005)

fuck man. whats with all the slapstick hating? i never said i hated the bosstones. i love them, i just like slapstick more.

anybody who says slapstick sucks has no idea what they're talking about.

UberShep (March 11, 2005)

"actually, not only fuck slapstick, but fuck larry arms too. overhyped mediocre rabble rabble rabble rabble"

I couldn't agree more.

Crookedsuperhero (March 11, 2005)

Hell, maybe if Slapstick released another few albums i might agree. But they didn't.

boba_fett (March 11, 2005)

fine then. lets qualify a few things:

slapstick = ska-punk
bosstones = ska

that said i prefer slapstick.

CrookedSuperhero (March 11, 2005)

Well, i just listened to it. Sadly, Bronzing The Garbage came on after it and utterly destroyed it.

boba_fett (March 11, 2005)

just listen to almost punk enough and tell me that that isnt one of the greatest ska songs ever.

boba_fett (March 11, 2005)

damn all you haters! damn you!!!

CrookedSuperhero (March 11, 2005)

actually, not only fuck slapstick, but fuck larry arms too. overhyped mediocre rabble rabble rabble rabble

Err, no. Slapstick are no Bosstones, but they were pretty damn good. Can't really compare the Arms, but they are pretty fantasic in their own right.

swingline (March 11, 2005)

actually, not only fuck slapstick, but fuck larry arms too. overhyped mediocre rabble rabble rabble rabble

joeg (March 11, 2005)

slapstick doesn't hold a candle to the bosstones. not even close.

CrookedSuperhero (March 11, 2005)

Bosstones are better than Slapstick. Anyday.

swingline (March 11, 2005)

holy shit. i've been listening to this album non stop the past 2 weeks. best ska band ever. fuck slapstick

boba_fett (March 11, 2005)

i dunno man... i think slapstick gets the best ska band ever title in my books. bosstones are number 2.

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

I gotta say that I think these guys kept getting better with age. As "cold' as the production could be, the band had a knack for making everything sound completely refreshing and new, even in a genre that had been done by so many bands, and by themselves for ages. I stand by my opinion that "A Jacknife to a Swan" was their best (and last) and was unfairly overlooked.

CrookedSuperhero (March 11, 2005)

royal oil is about hash... dick.

Damn, i really thought it was about oil that is royal. Cunt.

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

royal oil is about hash... dick.

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

Probably my least favorite album of theirs. It Definately has it's moments, now that i think of it more than i probably realized. Also, it will always have a special place in my heart because "impression" introduced me to what would quickly become my all-time favorite band. Overall I just don't enjoy this album as much as their others.

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

This and Jacknife To A Swan are my personal favourites of theirs.

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

eh this one was kinda stinky - and, no - not just cos it was their coming-out party...

they're gay?

CrookedSuperhero (March 11, 2005)

" lost a bassist, softened a growl and gained the same bassist back."

I know Joe has always been their bassist, but he did leave for a short time in between albums, although nothing was released without him.

I only rated this an 8 in comparison to the other Bosstone albums, this is kinda like their own scale. I still believe that all Bosstone albums blow away some of this 'ska' that is brought out these days. I originally started with the intentention of giving it a 9, but i listed too many petty little flaws to justify it too myself at the end.

Again, Pay Attention was only substandard compared to their other albums, as it's the only album i can think of with any filler songs, and lets face facts, it had a good few filler songs.

I love this album, just like i love all their albums. But this is still a Bosstones 8.

And i forgot to mention, Another Drinkin' Song is clearly the best song on here.

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

Pay Attention was only substandard in garnering cash. i love that album and find that its better than Lets Face It.

Rawls_with_Balls (March 11, 2005)

Even if you discount the songs we all got sick of years ago, there are still some greats here folks. "Another Drinking Song" will always take me back to a time and a place without ever seeming dated. Can't ask for much more than that.

TheOneTrueBill (March 11, 2005)

I had this on casette for years before I finally broke down and rebought it on CD. It's awesome.

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

Wasn't this their first "Clueless" cameo album?

joeg (March 11, 2005)

I know all the pre-LFI fans hate this record and after hearing all their records, I'd agree this is probably one of their weakest efforts. But it doesn't mean it's bad. It's still a strong record with some great songs and I'll always have a soft spot for this b/c it got me into ska and even hardcore. This is my favorite band of all time.

Anonymous (March 11, 2005)

favorite band ever

Fuzzy (March 11, 2005)

Joe Gittleman has, is, and will always be the Bass Fiddleman for the Bosstones. I don't know where you got that from. As much as I usually agree with you, this review is kinda whack. LFI was a tough pill to swallow at first for Bosstones fans, but it grows on you. The production is very warm, given time, and this disc has some of their crunchiest and mellowest tunes all at once.

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