Less Than Jake - Absolution for Idiots and Addicts [EP]
Release Date: March 14, 2006 (digital) / April 4, 2006 (street)
Record Label: Sire Records
Not content to sit on the laurels of the mainstream success of Anthem, their last CD, Less Than Jake is back with a fresh outlook on life. With a full-length album (In With the Out Crowd) set to release in May, they have a full plate. Returning to Howard Benson, who produced Hello Rockview, arguably the band’s crowning achievement, Less Than Jake is looking toward the future. Absolution for Idiots and Addicts is an EP the band decided to release that features two album songs and two b-sides, more than enough to keep fans interested and continue the tradition of releasing album b-sides, many of which have been downright fantastic in the past.
This ambitious EP kicks off with the band’s lead single, “Overrated (Everything Is).” It happens to be Less Than Jake at their most brutally honest; atop a fairly simple guitar/bass combination, Chris tears apart the “normal” and the “ordinary” things that people in life take for granted. After listening to some of the music sent to us, Chris’s words definitely strike a nerve. People have been bashing the song due to its simplicity (some comparing it to my least favorite Anthem song, “She’s Gonna Break Soon”), but it still sends a strong message, simple or otherwise. “Negative Sides of Optimistic Eyes” follows a similar structural format but recalls the nostalgia of Borders & Boundaries. Here we get some horns to drive the song (which I think is the weakest on the EP), but it is nothing compared to its successor, “We the Uninspired.” The second song that missed the full-length, “We the Uninspired,” has LTJ returning to their ska roots. Launching with an ambitious burst of horns, Less Than Jake means business. Concluding with “The Rest of My Life,” another album inclusion, this EP has some punch. Highlighting LTJ at their most emotional, this song is about regretting what you had after you lose them.
Absolution for Idiots and Addicts isn’t Less Than Jake’s crowning achievement, but it does offer a sneak peek at the startlingly solid catalogue of songs that will be on the upcoming album due out in May. With a leap of faith, old and new fans alike will enjoy the “new” sound as the band continues to make music for themselves and not the changing tides of the industry. Give this EP a shot (its release is limited to independent record stores and online) and prepare for one hell of an album two months from now.
This EP is the first time LTJ ever let me down. The only song I liked was "we, the uninspired." The other three were just plain lame. It all seemed really dumbed down. I hope the full length is a lot better.