Less Than Jake - Borders & Boundaries [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Less Than Jake

Borders & Boundaries [reissue] (2012)

Fat Wreck Chords

Following their fallout with Capital Records, Pez enthusiasts Less Than Jake found themselves adrift. In flew Fat Mike of NOFX with a one-off deal for his label Fat Wreck Chords, ensuring that LTJ’s ska-punk lineage would continue. It was only a gentlemen’s agreement, but it ended up yielding one of the band’s best records, Borders & Boundaries. Twelve years later, LTJ has returned to the material for a deluxe anniversary edition.

At this point, folks should know what to expect with Less Than Jake’s reissue series. Borders & Boundaries continues the trend of tacking on a couple of bonus tracks plus a DVD of the whole thing performed live. This release’s importance to listeners depends on whether or not they already own it. Borders never went out of print like, say, Goodbye Blue & White, and if you already own it, there’s not too much of a need to hear the three demos added on at the end. Yeah, LTJ concert videos are always fun, but they’re not essential.

Now, for the young people of the world who never picked up this here album, the deluxe edition is a must-have. Fat Wreck is selling it for $12--a true deal in stereo. Besides, I’d argue Borders marks the beginning of LTJ’s underrated period. Yeah, we loves Losing Streak and Hello Rockview, but Borders has some awesome rockers of its own, namely “Gainesville Rock City,” “Look What Happened” and opener “Magnetic North,” which boasts one of my favorite scene critiques: "Everyone here hates everyone here for doing the same things that they do." You like drunk-punk? Howsabout the puke-dance that is “Malt Liquor Tastes Better When You’ve Got Problems?” Sure, at 15 tracks, Borders isn’t as consistently memorable as Rockview, but c’mon. It’s still the Jake we’re talking about.

What’s also neat about this release is that even though Fat dropped Borders pretty much just to be nice, LTJ and the label have still worked together to put this reissue out together, a first for the series. Friends forever!