The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - A Jackknife To A Swan (Cover Artwork)

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

A Jackknife To A Swan (2002)


What is punk? Is ska punk? If it comes from the legendary Boston Ska-Core pioneers, The Mighty Mighty BossTones, then the answer is a resounding yes.

The band is back with their seventh studio album, "A Jackknife to a Swan," to set the place on fire. Forget all of the bullshit about ska being dead or the BossTones selling out and getting soft. With AJTAS, the 'Tones throw all of their past styles in the pot and all of the rules out of the window.

"You Gotta Go!" stands out first. What starts out as a horn driven song, quickly turns into a pissed off plea strengthened by a vocal blast from one of the backing BossTones. The new guitar is the first studio effort for Lawrence Katz and the same goes for Chris Rhodes on the trombone. The new components are featured as much as the old reliables were and everything is still kosher. The old shoes seemed to be filled and this song is a perfect example.

Ska comes alive in "Everybody's Better." Horns are mellowed and the pace is slowed for this perfect song. Rhodes adds some flavor with a reggae chant and gives the song something special. "I Want My City Back" is by far the dark mood swing of this album along with "You Can't Win," the weakest song on the album. It reminds me of "Break So Easily," a great song, but it doesn't stand out with the others.

"Chasing the Sun Away" is a fantastic song that could be the perfect summer tune. A breezy, bouncy song that Smash Mouth would sell their souls to write.

The real gem of this album is the amazing "Old School Off the Bright." I don't know what to say about it other than it really sticks out and it made me want to move to Boston.

A proverbial middle finger is extended to the "people" in charge in "The Punch Line," "Go Big" and "Shit Outta Luck." These songs encapsulate the overall positive spirit of this album.

Have you ever heard the BossTones play acoustic? Well, you are in for a treat with the album closer "7 Ways to Sunday." The band appears to have recorded this soulful little ditty around a camp fire, complete with harmonica and some fantastic female backup singers. In my opinion, this is the best Black Crowes song that they never wrote. When I heard the rumor I was shocked and confused, but my advice would be to pay attention or you might miss something special, but that could be said for the entire album.