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The Gadjits - Today Is My Day (Cover Artwork)

The Gadjits

The Gadjits: Today Is My DayToday Is My Day (2002)
Thick Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

I have seen the Gadjits live twice. Once was in November of 1999 at a place called Klub Phenomenon, located in Freeport, IL [this place is probably most well known for having the last Blue Meanies show ever]. Who was I seeing that night? None other than Fenix*TX [don't make fun of me]. The Gadji.
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I have seen the Gadjits live twice. Once was in November of 1999 at a place called Klub Phenomenon, located in Freeport, IL [this place is probably most well known for having the last Blue Meanies show ever]. Who was I seeing that night? None other than Fenix*TX [don't make fun of me]. The Gadjits were added at the last minute to the bill, and were barely even mentioned on the flier [a local band actually got billed higher on the flier than they did]. All I knew about the band at the time was they were a ska band on Hellcat Records. I got to the show right before they went on, and stood among the crowd, relishing their ska-rock sound [and their hot organ player]. Having never heard them before, I tried to listen to every chorus and sing along as quickly as possible, since the singer was staring right at me it seemed [he mentioned later during the show that he liked my "Got Jazz?" shirt I had on]. They put on a great show, and I immediately chugged over to the merch table to see what I could buy.

After picking up a bitchin' work shirt, some free stickers, and complimenting their bass player on a great show, I went back and watched Fenix*TX. I can't really remember anything about their show, as my mind was still fixated on the Gadjits sweet, sweet ska sound. In the coming weeks, I quickly got their 2 CDs that were out at the time, but neither one seemed to get a lot of spins in my CD player. While they contained all the songs that the band played that night, missing was the garage-like intensity and, well, the rock. A sigh was uttered, and I moved on.

This brings us to the second time I have seen the Gadjits, which was November of 2001. Within that two-year period, I had sort of kept tabs on the band - I knew they existed and still toured and such, but I hadn't paid much attention to them. Then I got wind that they had dropped their ska sound and had started to go with a more rock and roll/blues sound. This intrigued me. I finally got to see them again at the Fireside Bowl with the Stereo [you can read a review of that concert here if you'd like]. The Gadjits' new sound, coupled with an extra guitarist and a new organ player, totally blew my mind. While I had come to watch the Stereo, again I came away with Gadjits on the brain.

"Today Is My Day" is probably the album the Gadjits have always wanted to make. I have a feeling that even in their ska years, the band knew they were a rock and roll band; this album just validates all their work. The band recorded the entire album in their home in Leawood, Kansas, giving it a very rough-around-the-edges feel. The album opens with "We Were Right," a slow jam, until the gospel-like refrain kicks in for the last 45 seconds. You can just feel the tambourines being shaken and the hands flying in the air. It's one hell of an opener, and it sets the tone for the rest of the album. "Someday Driver" plows ahead as a straightforward rocker with an incredibly solid and tight rhythm section. This is due largely in part to drummer Adam, bassist Zach, and guitarist/singer Brandon are all brothers. The rock continues in "One Stones Throw From A Riot," a blues/rock hybrid with a throwback to the musical "Grease," of all things in the prechorus. The group's country roots come out in "This Waffle House Is Not A Home," a ballad if I ever heard one. "All The Way" is a fast paced, bass-and-organ driven song with a whole lot of "Hey!" and "C'mon!" thrown in for good measure. "Nothing Exciting" has a similar feel to "One Stones…" with a cool breakdown in the middle, followed by a classic bluesy guitar solo. "Talkin' Bout My Demographic" is a 5 minute, catchy as all hell rock and roll tune with a sendoff to the Who in the last minute or so [as if you didn't see that coming]. I just love the way the bass slides octaves in the song and the places where a harmonica wails over the rest of the band. This reminds me of some of the dirtier, unpolished moments of a Blues Traveler CD. It jams. I could continue to rave about the rest of the tracks on this album, but I'm getting the feeling you get the picture.

The album isn't perfect, by any means. The recording quality, while at times is a huge plus because it adds to the dirty rock feel of the album, also can get annoying sometimes when the vocals or guitars get lost in the mix. The pitfalls of home recording, I guess. While the band does benefit from the addition of a second guitar [Mike Alexander, formerly of the Revolvers], they did lose their organ player, Hilary, after the album was recorded. This makes for some live inconsistencies due to the lack of female vocals on certain songs, since her harmonies are fairly active on the album's 14 tracks. To the band's credit, it doesn't hold the band back live, though.

"Today Is My Day" is a true rock and roll record, the type that so many bands [i.e. the Strokes, the White Stripes, etc.] continually strive for, but can't quite get there. There is no gimmick about the Gadjits, there is no "selling point" to be found. All they are is one of the best damn rock and roll bands in the world right now. They dare you to prove them wrong.

MP3s
Someday Driver
[NOTE: both of these MP3s below are taken from the band's earlier EP, Yes I Are, but are essentially the same songs as on the new album, just not as polished.]
This Wafflehouse Is Not A Home
All The Way

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
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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 (June 17, 2006)

Oh, my world. It is ok

Anonymous (March 5, 2002)

here is the review that i wrote for my website: www.bigtouchin.com

Well boys and girls, good old fashioned Rock and Roll music has returned!

The lastest release from the Gadjits - "Today is My Day", is fantastic. Released on Thick Records (it appears as tho the Gadjits, like the Pietasters are no longer on Hellcat), this album delivers Rock and Roll in its purist form. With driving rhythm, great lead guitar work, and the Hammond and Rhodes organs providing an incredible background sound, this album is definately musically sound. The Gadjits also continue to provide the male/female vocal harmonies that have become a trademark of their music.

Some of the stand out tracks (in my humble opinion) are "One Stones Throw From a Riot" which is a great sing-a-long song, and "Talkin' Bout My Demographic" which samples ideas from the Rolling Stones' "Satisfacton" and The Who's "(Talkin' Bout) My Generation." T he hidden track at the end "?" (sorry I don't know the title) is a fantastic Rockabilly song that sounds kinda like Elvis meets Waylon Jennings.

Even with all the great albums out thus far in 2002 (Bad Religion, the Distillers, Give 'em the Boot III, etc.), I am naming this the best album to be released this year. And, even with some big names in the ska/punk/rock comminity scheduled to release albums this year (BossToneS, Pietasters, Less Than Jake, etc.) I feel that releasing an album that will top "Today is My Day" will prove a most difficult task. Rush out and buy "Today is My Day!"

For more information visit www.thegadjits.com or www.thickrecords.com

-eric

EastBayJack (February 26, 2002)

Though I like the album, I'm not entirely comfortable with the fact that the Gadjits are no longer playing ska. Now that ska is no longer "cool", it will be interesting to see what bands drop out and jump on the dirty rock n' roll bandwagon. Oh well, maybe next time around we'll have bands with a bit more conviction

CallingLondon (February 23, 2002)

i disagree with that statement about the White Stripes. I think they succeeded with flying colors at creating a true rock n' roll record. I haven't heard this one, but White Blood Cells is some of the best fucking rock and roll i've ever heard.

wyzo (February 17, 2002)

I liked the gadjits as people, thought they were doing positive stuff, but never got into there music.

However, I accidentally borrowed the wrong cd from a friend, and I went out later and got my own copy.

Its really pretty good, and not what I expected. I dig it. Danceable.

wyzo

Anonymous (February 14, 2002)

don't feel like logging in, but you know wjho i am.

i am trying to download these mp3s (although the thick download is 32 minutes, and band site gives me errors).

just wanted to comment that it is funny that you are dissing the strokes who just six weeks ago you were hailing as the greatest band ever.

ps: this review was utterly inconsistent and dull.

and yes, i only say that because of who i am.

Anonymous (February 12, 2002)

i just saw them last night, and yes, they have an organ player, but it is a guy now. They were ok, not really my shit though.

Anonymous (February 11, 2002)

do they have an organ player still?
i saw them a while ago and they had a girl on the organ and i wasn't sure if it was still the same one that i saw when they toured with mr t a fe w years back?

Anonymous (February 11, 2002)

man, i love the gadjits (including the older ska stuff..)

but goddamn, there's NO WAY this band is better than the white stripes (i know you didn't say THAT, but you implied it...)

still, the white stripes rock like no one else...come on now...

Jimi

Anonymous (February 11, 2002)

some people seem to not understand the concept of reviewing an album, unless that includes unnecessary tangents.

Anonymous (February 11, 2002)

There is no doubt that the new Gadjits record is their best to date. Yes, ALL the ska is gone, but you can tell that the band never really got into the pocket with ska beats. It was like they were trying to force a ska sound where it didn't belong. Now The Gadjits have grown the balls to play the style of music that they have always wanted. The Gadjits are not kids anymore and you can feel the confidence of standing on their own on Today Is My Day. It's a rock and roll revival, and I love it

Anonymous (February 11, 2002)

Excuse me? Was this a review of their new album, a live show you saw them at, or a step by step on how the band changed? Damnit people, when you post a review on this site please stay on topic

Anonymous (February 11, 2002)

I really enjoyed this review. Being a large fan of the gadjits for a very long time, I agree when I think that a non-ska gadjits album was long overdue. Good work, but there's no need to diss the white stripes.
-tbones

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