Florida ska veterans Less Than Jake release live tracks

Mike Vincenti

Less Than Jake fans can now rejoice. That’s right, they’ve done it again. The ska influenced pop/punk quintet from Gainesville, Fla. have released “Goodbye, Blue and White”, a compilation CD of rarities and live tracks, released on the Fuely Ramen Records.
“Goodbye, Blue and White” is a collection of B-Sides and out- of-print versions of many of their staples. With 24 tracks, “Goodbye” has a little bit of everything. It even has a short radio promo they did for a popular radio station in California.
Known for their live shows, they named this CD after their first tour van, a 1979 Chevy Nomad named “The Blue and White.” LTJ is known for their time spent on the road.
Among many standout tracks on the record, the one that will get the most play is the live version of “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts.” The song is great because it shows how much energy they pack into a live performance.
It also displays their talent as musicians to play live and to sound amazing. “Johnny Quest” starts out with the usual banter between musicians and their fans. Then they immediately jump into the song.
Most bands have a hard time finding a happy medium between vocals and instruments, meaning that most of the time you cannot hear the vocals because of the guitars, drums and horn section.
For a live song, this sounds like it came right out of the studio, with the exception of the crowd singing along during the choruses.
Another song that will get a lot of playing time is “Sugar in Your Gas Tank,” also a live song recorded recently on tour. It takes shape with horns and the raspy vocals of the lead singer and guitarist.
It sounds as if they recorded the track in a studio and not in front of hundreds of fans. Showing how talented they really are, the song ends as it began, with horns blaring, heavy drumbeats and the guitar riffs.
This CD isn’t just live tracks. It also has original songs as well as cover songs. The most notable cover is their take on Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
Their version would make Dee Snyder and the rest of Twisted Sister proud. The lead vocalist must have paid attention during the 80s because he nails this song perfectly.
Less Than Jake have outdone themselves with “Goodbye, Blue and White.” This CD will be on heavy rotation until they come out with a new one.
The Florida band will be on tour with Bad Religion and Hot Water Music through March.