Less than Jake
The two-tone army was strong in the 90’s. Those that were there remember that, at some point around 1997 you couldn’t get away from checker board patterns and pork pie hats. However, the undercurrents of ska-punk bands were really the ones who helped jump start the craze. Unfortunately, for every decent ska-punk band there were at least a hundred that were making clown music for bandwagon jumpers. Less Than Jake is one of the distinct exceptions to the misguided notion that ska-punk is lame and dead. Their debut, Pezcore, is a staple for most people who we’re experiencing all of their teenage angst in those turbulent mid 90’s. The holy triumvirates of the time were Less Than Jake, AAA and the Voodoo Glow Skulls; all of which put on incredible shows that could inspire everyone from metal heads, punk kids and rude boys to get down into the pit and get their dance on.
After a while, the 90’s faded and so ska-punk fell out of fashion. Bands like Skabba the Hut traded members and became the Bravery and the wave moved on to swing music; because horns. However, Less Than Jake just doubled down on their original idea. They kept making the music they love and forged on making records and touring. In fact the Less Than Jake crew has taken their original idea and built on it utilizing every opportunity to branch out in several different directions for their side projects. Some of which include other musical endeavors, but there’s at least one toy company and recording projects for other bands. Basically, LTJ have never shied away from any DIY, punk ethic and as such continue to stay relevant not only with their peer but with their audience as well.
Members have come and gone during their tenure, but Less Than Jake has maintained a steady base that helps them keep a constant sound despite any changes in the line-up. That’s not to say they haven’t changed and grown as a band, but developing a sound that can only be described as their own is a feat, in and of itself, for any band. To do that and stick it out during tough times and still find themselves on top in the end is a testament to the sheer power of will and tenacity it takes to succeed at anything in life. Cheers to that.
Less Than Jake play the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, Saturday, March 19 with Beebs and Her Honey Makers and Fallen from the Sky; Sunday March 20 with Quit and Fallen from the Sky. Doors at 7pm and tickets are $18.