The Best of the Worst - Grand Slam Digital EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Best of the Worst

Grand Slam Digital EP (2012)

Community Records

The Best of The Worst provides quite an interesting amalgam of genres that orbit the core punk sound. Perhaps it has something to do with having seven people in the band, which brings a whole host of influences to the table, trying to form songs that bring together as many of these sounds as it is possible to cram into one song. Maybe it's not!

Whatever the reasons are for having such a diverse sound, The Best of The Worst manages to bring a lot to the table in just three songs. There is no doubt that there is a backbone to what the band does and that's got to be a horn-laden, ska-punk approach that has a massive Less Than Jake sticker attached to it. Beyond that, though, it's whatever fits regardless of how disparate it might seem. That's not to say this is a great innovative piece of work that is going to stretch the boundaries of music to new regions, just that the band adds enough variety to stop this being straight up ska-punk, which I really need to be in the right mood for and quite often am not--a true fussy bugger!

Up first is "Speechless," which begins with some deep, throaty, metal-like vocals, but it's impossible to ignore that ska-punk that comes in beneath it. Throughout the song, the vocals switch from that more devil-like approach to something that is much more in line with what one gets from Less Than Jake. That switch is also evident musically, as there are times when what you get is much heavier, with a thick, solid guitar sound before heading back to the lighter punk commotion laced with the horn and guitar ska delivery.

"Paperweight" has a more straight up ska-punk approach, but with some beefy guitar parts and the occasional tangent taken to create something slightly off the (well) beaten track. Again, the twin vocals play their part in helping this standing out from other bands that play ska-punk (I'm not sure if anyone else is bored by continually reading those two words, but I'm bored writing them!). This track contains the great lines "I am more than a job / More than just a degree / The last thing that I'll do, is let these things define me." These 20 odd words resonate loudly with me and mirror my own thoughts on how I view myself, whereas some people allow some really strange things become what they are known or remembered for.

"Jonestown, 1978" is more of the same really and The Best of The Worst do what they do well. This is a decent release and I'll certainly be checking out previous work by the band. Given that this is a free download from Community Records, what have you got to lose by getting hold of it or listening to it on the band's own Bandcamp page?