Case of the Mondays - Swimmin' with Plus Size Women EP
Release Date: 2005
Record Label: Unsigned
New Jersey's Case of the Mondays, whose name alone should be enough to draw in a listener or two, show their undeniable potential at every opportunity on Swimmin' With Plus Size Women. Hailing from the state that has given birth to more bands than the NHL has concussions, Case of the Mondays blend ska, rock, and reggae into their own infectious brand of melodies. Although their songs tend to often lack that explosive hook, their pure musical ability shines through at every possible opportunity throughout the course of the six showcased tracks.
The EP opens with quite possibly the strongest hook of all. "Regret" kicks off with an extremely catchy guitar riff, which is followed up by the raw, powerful voice of lead vocalist Jon Gray. To be quite honest, upon popping in this disc, I hoped to god that Case of the Mondays wouldn't turn out to be another mindless ska-punk band, with absolutely no idea of how a ska song should sound. But, quite on the contrary, the bands transition into the upstrokes is performed extremely smoothly. The track, which additionally features one of the strongest choruses i've heard is a long while, showcases the smooth ability of the bands horn section, which is comprised of tenor and alto saxophonist Brian Gannon and trombonist Bob Gordon. Following the fantastic opener comes "Plea of Insanity", which is more or less a pop-punk jam. The most prominent, noticable factor of this track, as well as throughout the running time of the entire disc, is the harmony Gray consistently provides the listener. "She Only Dates Black Guys" is a fun, upbeat, danceable gem, with quite humorous lyrics to boast. If you can't appreciate the bands music, I will be surprised if one doesn't let a slight chuckle slip. "24 Reasons", which by no means should be considered unworthy of attention, is quite easily the weakest track of the six, or at least in my honest opinion. The lyrics aren't half bad, but unfortunately contain a line describing a heart on a sleeve. It's safe to say i'm more than sick of such cliche lyrics, but despite that small fact, the song is quite enjoyable. The EP's fifth track, "She Sweats Him", is a bouncy ska-punk anthem. I'm personally a big fan of the switch in guitar work from the first verse to the second, and I applaud the band on their decision to add some flavour to the song. The main horn line, although slightly uninspired sounding at times, will have you humming along from the first note to the last. "Nothing In Common" closes off the disc, and brings quite an enjoyable close to the bands work. My only concern may be in the horn work at times. Although the playing is fantastic from beginning to end, the production makes it sound almost distant, and sort of boring at times. Other than that, the track is filled with sing-along hooks, and the band manages to display some of their best work to send listeners off with.
It's safe to say that Swimmin' With Plus Size Women is a pleasurable experience. Whether you're a fan of punk-infused ska jams or not, i'll be quite surprised if each listener doesn't find a little something to satisfy their tastes. The music is exciting, to say the least, and the band does a fantastic job of bringing their influences forward to create their own unique blast of satisfaction. In a state of music where there's a screamo band at every venue, and an indie band at every corner, New Jersey's Case of the Mondays put all their power and ability forward to keep the once booming ska scene alive. Pick up this disc if you have a chance, and I guarantee you that these six tracks will not go unnoticed.
This review is a user submitted review from Brandon Allin. You can see all of Brandon Allin's submitted reviews here.