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

Less Than Jake

Less Than Jake: B Is For B-Sides [remixed]B Is For B-Sides [remixed] (2005)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 2


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

What's hard about reviewing Less Than Jake's techno remixes of 2004's B Is For B-Sides isn't the score, or whether you should buy it, but it's what the proverbial meterstick is for this CD. If you're expecting a full on techno twisting of their latest full-length, this ain't it. If you're expecti.
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What's hard about reviewing Less Than Jake's techno remixes of 2004's B Is For B-Sides isn't the score, or whether you should buy it, but it's what the proverbial meterstick is for this CD.

If you're expecting a full on techno twisting of their latest full-length, this ain't it. If you're expecting some of the best DJs in the world putting their mitts on the songs, you'll be surprised. If you're looking at this release as anything but B Is For B-Sides put through a synthesizer and drum machine, you'll be disappointed.

To that end, there's no liner notes, no mention of where, when or how these remixes were produced, composed or recorded. There's no jewel case, but instead the CD is packaged in a cd sleeve. The art on that sleeve, done by Buff Monster, is odd, but technically sound. Its release was limited to 2000 copies, and at the time I wrote this, was being sold on the Fueled By Ramen / Drive-Thru Records tour exclusively. There's no evidence of any record label on the jewel case, either.

I don't pretend to know much about electronic music, but in most cases the beats follow the guitar and horn parts like a training horse. That is, to say, as faithful as it can to the path it learned, but with occasional deviations. One thing that drove me up a wall was that the vocals were almost EXACTLY the same as on B Is For B-Sides, so no song is drastically different than the one found on last year's version.

That said, this version of "Robots One, Humans Zero" is the album's most experimental track (calling it experimental is digging a little too deep for comfort, though), and its drum-heavy, somber arrangement only adds to the depression of the original and stands as the album's best track. It's an amazing version, and if you can find it, it's worth the time to listen.

Going back to the meterstick analogy, if this is being judged as a new album with wildly different versions of your favorite tracks off of B Is For B-Sides, it fails miserably. If this is being judged as listenable material by a usually solid writing group, then it's passable. If this is being judged as Less Than Jake screwing with a synthesizer and drum machine, then it passes with flying colors. In short: These remixes sound like the group just wanted to compose B Is For B-Sides using different instruments. The MP3 of "Bridge And Tunnel Authority" below is sadly representative of the album. If you download it, you'll hear what I mean.

In short, this is a botched opportunity. It could have been something truly interesting. All in all, I just wish Less Than Jake had taken more chances.

MP3
Bridge And Tunnel Authority

 


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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.
skapunk810 (April 12, 2008)

anyone want to upload this for me?

Anonymous (October 13, 2005)

can anyone send me the album in mp3's or in a zip or rar file i'd love to hear it brewcitysteve@yahoo.com

Anonymous (July 30, 2005)

I was a little surprised at first with cd. I didn't quite know how it was going to sound. I thought it was fun to listen to at first. but it kinda dissapointed me. I think it would have been better if they done like a greatest hits remixed. Though it was fun when showed all my friends the cd. They kinda laughed and didn't believe it. This cd is deffinately going to my LTJ collection.

jamespastepunk (July 14, 2005)

God damn. Bold was supposed to stop at the end of the review quote. Apologies.

jamespastepunk (July 14, 2005)

This CD is a side project and cannot be critiqued on the same criteria.

Apparently you didn't read the review. I'll copy the portion which speaks directly to that comment.

Going back to the meterstick analogy, if this is being judged as a new album with wildly different versions of your favorite tracks off of B Is For B-Sides, it fails miserably. If this is being judged as listenable material by a usually solid writing group, then it's passable.< i> If this is being judged as Less Than Jake screwing with a synthesizer and drum machine, then it passes with flying colors

This COULD have been more interesting, but it wasn't.

As a remix cd its not good, as a LTJ cd is absolutely pathetic, but as I SAID IN THE GOD DAMN REVIEW, IF THE FUCKING METERSTICK IS A RECORD NOT TO BE TAKING SERIOUSLY, AND LESS THAN JAKE PLAYING WITH TECHNO EQUIPMENT THEN ITS WORTH YOUR MONEY.

I'm not trying to attack Less Than Jake, far from it. What I'm trying to do is tell you what's on it so you'll know whether you want it or not if you see it on sale used or on eBay.

Anonymous (June 2, 2005)

Anyone who knows square 1 about LTJ would realize this album is nothing more than a side project for fun and collector fluff.

That being said, it is quite unprofessional of the reviewer to compare this remix CD to a full length album. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges, and the reviewer -should- have realized this. This CD is a side project and cannot be critiqued on the same criteria.

While I think the remixes could have been better, I would still recommend this CD for any die hard fans of LTJ, or someone who is looking for an unusual version of the more recent LTJ songs. The CD's retro almost 80's "8-bit"-like sound makes the CD quite unique in the LTJ catalog and reflects some of the influences of the band.

Anonymous (May 17, 2005)

I gotta say this CD sounds more like LTJ re-imagined as a retro/80's band than anything techno. I love techno and I love LTJ but this CD just doesn't do it for me...

Anonymous (May 16, 2005)

What's the matter with the reviewer? Learn to have an open mind for gods sake, this stuff is funny. You're taking it way too seriously man. I liked the mp3! Experimental stuff is rad.

JKyle (May 14, 2005)

These songs are good for a laugh and little else. I like the remix of "National Anthem," but that's probably only because I loved the original version to death.

maverick (May 13, 2005)

They should team up with Victory and package this with the Giles album.

-Scott

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

Those of you who are expecting something serious with this will be dissapointed. Then again, why would you expect that from these guys? No surprises or dissapointment from me.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

"Pull shit like this"??

This CD was a limited thing, it's not trying to milk old material or anything.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

c'mon LTJ, only bands like linkin park pull shit like this.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

The reviewer was spot on about the song structures. They pretty much just switched out the guitars and horns for synth, playing roughly the same notes. I guessed how similar it would sound just by opening it with iTunes and realizing that the track lengths were almost identical to the originals. I was really hoping to get a 7 minute ASAOK or something. Eh, whatever, it's fun to listen to once or twice, and I guess it has that "omg limited edition tour only release" appeal so it's not a total waste. Download if you can't buy it, it's worth a listen, it just had way more potential than this.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

I talked to Vinnie about this cd. He said it was pure fun and they wanted to try something different. I personally think it's rad and a fun addition to any LTJ collection. Long Live LTJ!

aahhhh (May 13, 2005)

good review. you summed it up perfectly

stevejonestherealbones (May 13, 2005)

i havent heard it, but they probably banged it out in a half hour on a computer as a joke...then sold it as a joke, then when people started buying it...they said something like brian regan did with the whole joke thing...damn, i forget...its about an assembly line..."i just did it as a joke, but its going out that way"

anyone know what the eff i talking about?

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

- did you get that thing i sent ya?

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

You're kidding, this is a real album? What? the idea is strange first of all, but of all the albums they used the b-sides album? wierd.

TheEvilMonkey (May 13, 2005)

Oh come on, this shit is plain fun.

Anonymous (May 13, 2005)

This has to be one of the strangest ideas ever.

OC

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