Spring Heeled Jack USA - Songs From Suburbia (Cover Artwork)

Spring Heeled Jack USA

Songs From Suburbia (1998)


I figured in the wake of Dave Karich, drummer and one of the founding members of Spring Heeled Jack USA, passing away, it would be a good time to review Spring Heeled Jack's best disc. Perhaps some would accuse me of being a sellout, as many of SHJ's fans prefer "Static World View" over this disc. I would argue that, as this disc has catchier tunes, better production, and just as much, if not more heart.

This is one of the few 3rd-wave ska discs that actually transcends the ska scene. This is simply a great rock album, featuring songs easily on par with their east coast peers the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bim Skala Bim and The Pilfers. Songs like "Mass Appeal Madness", "Jolene", "Beggin" and "Waiting, Watching" are some of the better tracks, but there are no clunkers here to speak of. The diversity the band shows on this album is pretty uncharacteristic of your average ska band as well. Some songs, like "Pop Song Green" tread on punk territory, while tracks like "Makisupa Policeman" sound like Phish if they played ska (not suprising, considering its a cover of a Phish song).

This album contains something for everyone, from the most jaded scenester to your run-of-the-mill music fan. The album ends on a positive note, with a trio of uplifting songs - "Time", "Morning Sun" and "Man Of Tomorrow". So do yourself a favor, pick this disc up, and here the 3rd wave like it should have been played all the time.