Title: Less Than Jake DVD [Anthology]

Format: DVD

Label: Sleep it Off Records

Rating: ★★★★☆

Review by: Bill Jones

Despite the rather plain and simple name on the box of Less Than Jake DVD, the Gainesville ska band’s video-centric release contains four discs packed with more than eight hours of footage, effectively earning its other name, Anthology. And with six full album performances, extra live tracks and plenty more from over the years, it’s a collection Less Than Jake fans don’t need to think twice about picking up.

The first three discs contain three shows apiece, featuring the entire album performances of six of the band’s albums from a string of shows in Florida in 2007. Albums performed are Hello Rockview, Pezcore, Anthem, Borders and Boundaries, Losing Streak and In With the Out Crowd. The performances are the same as those seen on the bonus DVDs included with the Sleep It Off album rereleases (including the audio problems with Losing Streak), but they are uncut from start to finish, and each show features “bonus tracks” in this collection not seen on the other versions. (more…)


Band: Deal Gone Bad

Album: “Far From Home”/ “These Arms of Mine” 7-inch

Label: Self

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Review by: Bill Jones

Deals Gone Bad has always been a fun band to see on the opening bill of local shows in Chicago, especially at the Midwest Skafest. Frankly, they’re a nice chance of pace from the usual punk stuff that I’ve got playing, and even the faster-paced ska featured on the festival bills. The band is a talented group of guys that bring a soulful blend of reggae influence to the forefront of virtually everything they do, creating a relaxing sound.

So I’ve got to admit I was excited with the introduction of their latest release’s A-side, “Far From Home,” the first original tune from the band since 2007’s The Ramblers. The opening is full of energy, almost giving off an in-your-face Blues Brothers sort of vibe. (more…)


Less Than Jake Re-Issues Two Classic Ska Albums

By Bill Jones

Whether it’s the newest Less Than Jake album, or an offering from any other ska band, two of the albums it will inevitably get compared to (and usually bested by) are Less Than Jake’s Losing Streak and Hello Rockview. And why not? They’re arguably two of the greatest ska-punk albums ever released. And now they’re available for the first time in updated CD/DVD formats from LTJ’s own Sleep It Off Records.

The Gainesville band launched the label three years ago in an effort to take control of its back catalog and handle its own future releases. The band already re-released Goodbye Blue and White; Pezcore; Losers, Kings and Things We Don’t Understand; and Peoples History of Less Than Jake; but they all pale in comparison to the latest two re-releases Losing Streak and Hello Rockview. (more…)