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Mad Caddies - Keep It Going (Cover Artwork)

Mad Caddies

Mad Caddies: Keep It GoingKeep It Going (2007)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

The Mad Caddies have more or less been one of my favorite bands for the last five or six years. I own and love every single one of their albums yet, and have enough Mad Caddies apparel to wear a different shirt for a week straight without re-wearing. Yes, I am a fanboy. I defended the Caddies' last .
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The Mad Caddies have more or less been one of my favorite bands for the last five or six years. I own and love every single one of their albums yet, and have enough Mad Caddies apparel to wear a different shirt for a week straight without re-wearing. Yes, I am a fanboy. I defended the Caddies' last masterpiece and deplored Scott's review of Just One More, which panned a diverse and -- outside of the terrible "Contraband" -- welcome addition to the band's catalogue.

That said, the promo descriptions of the new Mad Caddies had me worried, saying that, "Keep It Going lends itself heavily to reggae and takes the listener on a musical journey from lively Jamaican dancehalls to the underground DIY music venues of America." Having essentially the most talented trumpet player in the biz with Keith Douglas, one of the most innovative guitar/banjo players in Sascha Lazor, and one of the best voices in Chuck Robertson, reggae is clearly not the best channel for their strengths. Their biggest strength since their breakthrough (and 10/10 in my opinion) Duck and Cover has been their ability to hurl forth a wide variety of styles, from traditional ska and punk to dixie, country, reggae, polka, rock, and even forging their own styles like the pirate-y "Weird Beard" off 2001's Rock the Plank. Thankfully, on Keep It Going, the Caddies continue to showcase their musical and songwriting expertise with another great, albeit reggae-heavy release.

"The Dirge" gets the album off the ground immediately with the wailing dixie horns and frenetic rhythm that the Caddies have perfected. The lyrics tell of the impending music -- "I get so tired of these same old songs" -- and the short song ends with the ominous statement "It's changing." The band then launches into the pot-induced "Backyard," a fairly standard reggae number that proclaims "You got the cure for your disease growin' in your backyard / You got the answers that you need right up in your backyard." "State of Mind" continues the relaxed vibes, though approaches more of a traditional ska sound. An acoustic lead-in starts off another one of the album's standouts in "Today," a punchy Dixie-punk song that flaunts the band's talented horn section that, like "The Dirge," ends with the telling line "I'm going to change." "Without You" is one of the catchiest numbers on the album with horns that sound a little Mexican-tinted and a steady ska rhythm.

Back in 2004 or so, guitarist Sascha Lazor said in an interview that he was interested and had been experimenting with Eastern European and Balkan music. The innovative "Reflections" shows a lean towards Eastern European music, while "Coyote" invokes comparisons to "Gypsy punk" ensemble Gogol Bordello. "Riding for a Fall" is a cover of Delroy Wilson's reggae classic, which features Duckie Simpson of Black Uhuru. While not the best song on the album, the dancehall dub offers yet another new sound to add to the Caddies' arsenal. "Pyramid Scheme" is an aggressive trad-ska tune that borders on ska-punk while "Don't Go" tosses in one of the catchiest choruses on the record. "Tired Bones" is probably my personal favorite on the album and is sure to please any fans that have been yearning for another "Monkeys"-style song, though "Tired Bones" tosses in a little more punk than the previously mentioned. The sunny reggae of "Souls for Sale" makes it the perfect summer tune and probably the most radio-ready, giving some geographic shout-outs much like Rancid's "Coppers" or H2O's "Faster Than the World." The record closes with"Whatcha Gonna Do," the Caddies' first acoustic solo that features country slide guitar playing drifting through the background.

Aside from the music, the Mad Caddies have always had great cover art outside of Rock the Plank. Keep it Going has some of the best cover art in recent years, though the Dixieland-inspired artwork doesn't exactly fit with the album's reggae and trad-ska leanings. Also, Chuck's lyrics have gradually been converted into a more vernacular delivery, which aren't quite as artistic as the cryptic lyrical paintings displayed in earlier releases.

So there you have it. Another more than solid Mad Caddies release that is sure to be highly contentious amongst the distinguished musical scholars of Punknews.org. Although slightly lacking the aggression of earlier releases, Keep It Going is certainly a musical journey, and one that deserves to be taken time and time again.

 

 
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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.
neffernin (May 10, 2007)

haha, now someone name me some rap songs that have the same beat to them

GlassPipeMurder (May 6, 2007)

Prob. just a coincidence, but also listen to Mad Daddies "Good Intentions" and Green Day's "Macy's Day Parade".

Anonymous (May 6, 2007)

Yes it can. The caddies do the whole dixieland thing all the time and green day has done it once. The Caddies prob don't listen to green day anyway so likes are that theyve never heard the song.

Anonymous (May 5, 2007)

Dammit, it's practically the same shit. King For a Day is the last half of Today. I like both of'em bands, but fuck, it just can't be that two songs sound just the same.

GlassPipeMurder (May 5, 2007)

the whole style and structure is very similar to king for a day. it's one of my favorites because of the horn part in the middle and because the energy is vital for an album that ends up kind of dragging through the last couple songs.

Anonymous (May 4, 2007)

"today" does sort of sound like that Green Day song, its that weird dixie/jazz/punk thing they do. It's one of the weaker tracks on the album for sure, but still ok.

Dudezilla (May 4, 2007)

Dudes, I know I'm gonna get a lot of hate on my ass, but... but doesn't "Today" sound in some significant parts like Green Day's "King for a Day"? Try and listen to both of'em patiently.

Don't hate me, I just gave the album a ten, and I'm also going to Vienna to see on the same stage Mad Caddies, Big D, Pepper and Love Equals Death (or rape, as I recently heard). :)

nonemorepunk (May 4, 2007)

Good review, but you never mentioned "Lay Your Head Down" one of the best songs on the album, the horns in that song are so good. Dunno if Keith is the best hron player but certainly up there with the Kid from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. I also disagree, "Riding For A Fall" is one of the best songs on the album, ok it's slow but the Caddies are one of the few bands who actually deliver every time and although they have different songs on each album their style never changes drastically or to something not Mad Caddies like, you know what your gonna get from the Caddies and that's a high quality record for the most part.

I think Rock The Plank was their worst record, obviously exceptions in "Mary Melody", "Weird Beard" and "All American Badass", the rest is forgettable really. My favourite track on this album has to be "Coyote" the horn lines are flawless and just make the track for me. Also the addition of timpani in the middle bits between chorus and verse is kinda cool, adds to the sound. Also "Without You" is another great song, I love the middle bit, it really adds to the song and gives it that jazzy kinda feel. For me the only let down on the album is "Today" I know people will probably lynch me for saying it but I just think it stands out too much from the rest of the material, it's not a terrible song but would have suited "Rock The Plank" or "Just One More" better. But it's nice the way it ends and then kicks into "Without You". Also the alternative version of "The Dirge" at the end of the album is cool, although only instrumental, it pays homage to 1930's slow swing and jazz, kinda New Orleans jazz sound. Overall ten outta ten for the album I think.

For anyone who hasn't heard it yet, tracks 5-10 are gold in particular, as are track 2 and 13. The Caddies have done it again, can't wait to see them in London in 3 weeks time. Bring on the Ska/Reggae/Punk goodness.

WarIsPeace (May 3, 2007)

I agree 100% with the below comment.

baseball (May 3, 2007)

"Lay Your Head Down" might just be my favorite Mad Caddies track ever

the horns in that song are mesmerizing!

Dudezilla (May 3, 2007)

How come you didn't say anything about "Lay Your Head Down"? It's one of the best pieces on the LP, dang it! The lyrics are pure genius!

Anonymous (May 3, 2007)

Haha "SOS" is an Abba cover. "somethings wrong at the playground" and "destro" are the shit.

all their shit is the shit. Even "the bell tower" still stands up as one of their better songs.

Just one More was tight, but I didn't think it was that cohesive, and it didn't flow all that well. Yes, Drinkking for 11, spare change, good intentions, leaving, and 10 west are incredible, some of their best songs, I don't know.

all their albums and the ep kick ass. the end. if you don't like the Caddies you're dumb.

I love their "reggae side" and therefore I'm really feeling this album.

Paul

Anonymous (May 3, 2007)

I've been a huge Caddies fan since I was in high school, and Duck and Cover remains one of my favorite albums I own, and I think this record is definitely good after listening to it a couple times now, but it's not even as good as Just One More. I don't really understand how it's not the concensus that Just One More was their best record. How do you top songs like "10 West", "Rockupation", "Game Show", "Last Breath" and "Good Intentions"? You don't, and they haven't with anything on this record. I might need more time for it to grow on me, but I don't see myself liking it more than Duck and Cover or Just One More.

Also, "Contraband" is a funny, goofy song. Why y'all gotta hate? It's just their sense of humor. Or did no one understand that they have a sense of humor after listening to some of the songs on Rock the Plank? And what I definitely don't get is the bunches of people claiming that The Holiday Is Cancelled EP is their best stuff, because that shit is weak other than "S.O.S". And if I remember correctly, they didn't even write that song.

-r3venge therapy

Anonymous (May 3, 2007)

FYI for those of you that may not know, the hidden track is classic New Orleans funeral music (there's the tie in to the cover!)

This may be my favorite caddies album, its certainly their most cohesive album since 'duck and cover' everything flows nicely. 'just one more' was a little too all over the place, but it still had its classics (including my favorite Caddies song 'drinking for 11').

really all their albums are fantastic other than 'quality soft core' which hasn't aged all that well. it sounded much better 10 years ago when ska/punk was huge and i was 17 and my fav bands were RBF and MMBT. they've topped that release 5 times now. but the rest are all fantastic, duck and cover is obviously the classic.

so far this and big D are probably my favorite releases of the year. both are arguably each bands' finest album.

Paul

Anonymous (May 3, 2007)

fucking boring and corny. they can do much better.

tenwestchaser (May 2, 2007)

FINALLY got to pick this fucker up. Damn school and all this shit work that keeps me too busy to buy the new Caddies album! But damn, this is sounding great. It's no "Just One More" but damn good...especially the second half.

Anonymous (May 2, 2007)

are you 12 paul-oldpunker-

Anonymous (May 2, 2007)

well for starters, your Mom is better at the skinflute. zinger.

paul

GlassPipeMurder (May 2, 2007)

ok, i'm open to suggestions, who would you say is better in those categories?

Anonymous (May 2, 2007)

"Having essentially the most talented trumpet player in the biz with Keith Douglas, one of the most innovative guitar/banjo players in Sascha Lazor, and one of the best voices in Chuck Robertson..."

They're good, but get some perspective.

WarIsPeace (May 2, 2007)

Overall I think this is a really good album. I think the track-listing could've been changed a little bit...it doesn't really flow as well as it could I think. But maybe that's just me.

Anonymous (May 2, 2007)

sorry glasspipemurder, i re-read your sentence about the cover art, ignore my previous post. I just simply think they wanted to give N.O. its props.

Paul

baseball (May 2, 2007)

and i also meant to say "Lay Your Head Down" is probably in my top 3 favorite Mad Caddies songs, great song

baseball (May 2, 2007)

this is probably going to end up being my favorite Mad Caddies cd

horns are fantastic on this album, this band never fails to do something different on each album and sound damn good doing it

Big D and Mad Caddies have both released fantastic albums this year and managed to go in the direction i've always wanted them to, way better than the standard ska punk both these bands started out playing

Anonymous (May 2, 2007)

great review, and great album, but 2 quick points.

1. what do you mean sacha's guitar and chucks voice would not be best exemplified by reggae music? why was that a concern to you? reggae music is every bit as technical as ska or their dixiejazzpunk hybrid and if anything reggae push's chuck to sing better. I still think 'drinking for 11' and 'days away' are 2 of their best songs and both are most certainly reggae.

2. the cover art is an obviously a New Orleans jazz funeral. If you will remind yourself, Jazz was invented in New Orleans, so it certainly DOES fit the caddies themes of jazz and their love of jazz, makes perfect sense to me.

Paul

bloofy (May 2, 2007)

Oops. 9 stars.

bloofy (May 2, 2007)

This is possibly my favourite Caddies release. I always loved their reggae type stuff and this gave me exactly what I was looking for.
Second best album of the year so far (behind The Nation Blue- Damnation... Great australian band)

dazed (May 2, 2007)

You know, even though Rock the Plank was kind of gimmicky and had a lot of filler (and a criminal underuse of horns) there were some really great songs on that album too. Just One More was a little long and more than a little predictable but didn't really deserve the panning it got. I've mostly lost interest in third wave stuff but not only have I been totally unable to trade in any of my mad caddies cds, after listening to the stream I'll almost certainly be buying this. The more reggae influenced style suits the Caddies well.

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

From what I have heard this sounds really refreshing. I am ready for another mad caddies album right now, music is really stale to me. I am stoked for the new mxpx album too that is going back to their old school style. this looks like a good summer for music

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

This band is dead to me.

Rock the Plank killed my buzz. This is the first release of theirs since then that I'm kind of interested in. Mind you I haven't heard it yet, so I'm really not expecting much.

GlassPipeMurder (May 1, 2007)

i guess i didnt catch it, but what/when is the tribute to homegrown?

homegrown = weed.

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

This band is dead to me.

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

Just like they did with Bracket, Fat Wreck needs to pull the plug.

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

Backyard: 9/10
Ska song heavily influenced by reggae, tribute to homegrown.


i guess i didnt catch it, but what/when is the tribute to homegrown?

Problematiclogic (May 1, 2007)

Such a great album. Don't be put off by everybody calling it reggae, it's a pretty mixed album. Favourites are "Backyard", "Pyramid Scheme" and "Souls For Sale"

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

the aggrolites are more reggae, but i agree with you. wonder what the next RBF and LTJ albums will sound like.

ashtraymonument (May 1, 2007)

so is there like a trad ska revival happening? both big d and mad caddies releasing trad ska sounding albums, westbound train and aggrolites gaining popularity..craziness

GlassPipeMurder (May 1, 2007)

i guess i shouldn't be surprised that people here like Contraband, but it's just so bad...the lyrics are terrible. Worse than "Today", worse than "Bridges", worse than any Caddies song.

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

"there is plenty of trad-ska on this album, it just has a stronger backbeat than stuff like Westbound Train or the Slackers. "State of Mind" for example is certainly not ska-punk, nor is "Reflections" despite it's short heavy spots."

"State of Mind" is definitely more along the lines of two-tone ska. The two styles aren't DRASTICALLY different, but there are definite differences (drumming, especially), I would say the same for "Reflections" but it's definitely punkier than most ska.

It's all just techincalities, though. Whatever this album is, it's fantastic.

klonny (May 1, 2007)

God I love 2007. I'm loving all these albums, and this one...Just wow. 10/10.

And to the author...Fuck you, Contraband sounds perfect right after listening to Drinking For 11.

sceneupdates (May 1, 2007)

Seeing Mad Caddies on Thursday, what songs do they play live?

notfeelingcreative (May 1, 2007)

Great album, I agree with most of the other comments, this is their best work since the 'holiday' e.p. but not quite as good as the first two Caddies albums.

i'm excited to heard this, but i must say quality soft core has always been my favorite caddies album.

GlassPipeMurder (May 1, 2007)

there is plenty of trad-ska on this album, it just has a stronger backbeat than stuff like Westbound Train or the Slackers. "State of Mind" for example is certainly not ska-punk, nor is "Reflections" despite it's short heavy spots.

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

I agree with the post below me and I am looking forward to this, hope it lives up to the hype-oldpunnker-

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

I'm sick of people calling things "traditional ska" to describe stuff that isn't traditional ska. Nothing on this album is trad ska. The two-tone beat is present in a lot of songs, and the rest is ska punk or reggae.

treos (May 1, 2007)

where the fuck is the new fall of troy review

baseball (May 1, 2007)

haven't heard this yet but i'm very encouraged by this review

Mad Caddies are one of the most versatile bands out there, i'm glad to see that they're scaling back the punk and ska-punk and going with the style they execute better

and i agree, "Contraband" is easily one of this band's weakest tracks, only track i ever skip on their last album

Scruffy (May 1, 2007)

I agree with Scott. I don't think I'll ever like a Caddies album as much as the Holiday Has Been Cancelled EP, but that album is perfect for me.
I expected to hate this based on the description, but I love it. The l;ast two Caddies albums let me down, and I had all but written them off. This album is nearly as good as Duck And Cover, and that's awesome. I didn't expect the Caddies to even break my top 20 for this year, but this could be in the top 10.

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

Yeah because your opinion on the Mad Caddies is so welcome after your Just One More review you fat ass.

maverick (May 1, 2007)

This record's a few songs too long, but overall, it's better than the last two, and I'd rank it right beneath Duck And Cover and The Holiday Has Been Cancelled.

-Scott

punk_rawk_show (May 1, 2007)

I really like this album, i love rock the plank and just one more, i really like the reggae feel the caddies have

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

I either love songs that Mad Caddies write, or hate them. What a good band.

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

score is for Contraband... everyone loves that song

pasha (May 1, 2007)

I really dig this album. I've loved all of the Mad Caddies' albums, except Rock the Plank, and this one is just great.

ozmanx (May 1, 2007)

i very much enjoyed this release, Gotta love "Without You"

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

It's a solid album. I personally thought Today was the weakest track, but that's just me.

neffernin (May 1, 2007)

The Dirge: 9/10
A solid start, very fast paced and instrumental, and the lyrics set the tone for the album.

Backyard: 9/10
Ska song heavily influenced by reggae, tribute to homegrown.

State of Mind: 9/10
Very mellow reggae song, relaxing.

Today: 7/10
Nifty fast paced beat but kind of boring lyrically.

Without You: 8/10
A relatively fun song using a patented caddies baseline.

Reflections: 10/10
This song is perhaps one of the most complete songs on the album, between lyrics, vocals and instrumental.

Lay Your Head Down: 9/10
Has a really good beat and good lyrics as well.

Tired Bones: 9/10
Sounds like some insane combo of old caddies songs.

Coyote: 9/10
Another song showing off one of ska's most talented horn sections, leans heavily on the vocals unlike older caddies.

Don't Go: 7/10
Is this a single? Sounds like some kind of radio-friendly song.

Pyramid Scheme: 7/10
Another song that feels like an older caddies song, but lyrics are some of the weakest on the album.

Souls for Sale: 9/10
Very well rounded song, lyrics are among the best on the album.

Riding for a fall: 8/10
One of the better ska covers to come out in a while.

Whatcha Gonna Do: 8/10
Acoustic sound is different, but works for the song.

Bonus Track: 9/10
A short instrumental with the horn line of the first song, has a very old school feel to it.

Overall: 9/10
While the caddies have proven their versatility over the years, I think this album shows the biggest leap of their career. The heavy reggae influence fits the caddies well; the slower music gives them the chance to not only show off their ability to play instruments but lets their vocalist show off his ability to sing. Lyrically the band is definitely maturing; it will be interesting to see where they take the music next.....

neffernin

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

Not exactly the same type of music as the caddies first album for the most part, but I personally think it's up there in quality. Thank god they didn't pull a less than jake on us....

Dante3000 (May 1, 2007)

There were some great songs on this album and a few awful songs. Lyrically "today" sounds like something you'd hear from a High School band, it was so boring and repetitive. But overall it's a solid album.
-Dante

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

where's the dino jr review?

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

Score is for Contraband.... I dont know anyone who doesn't love that song.

GlassPipeMurder (May 1, 2007)

interesting...i've never heard of anyone who likes Contraband.

Anonymous (May 1, 2007)

Score is for bashing "Contraband." Haven't heard this album yet, but I'm sure it's terrific.

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