Album Review
Less Than Jake - GNV FLA Album Cover

Less Than Jake - GNV FLA

Reviewed by
Less Than Jake - GNV FLA
Release Date: June 24, 2008
Record Label: Sleep It Off Records

"Less Than Jake have lost their touch. They'll never top Hello Rockview. Being on a major label changed them as a band." We've all heard the constant stream of allegations, accusations, and diatribes against the Gainesville, Florida-based band now in its sixteenth year. Finished with their stint on Sire/Warner Bros. Records, they started their own label (Sleep It Off Records) to release their seventh studio album, GNV FLA, the title an ode to their hometown.

Titillating trombone slides, warbling guitar riffs, and even the addition of a trumpet (Scott Klopfenstein from Reel Big Fish) allow GNV FLA to explode into the top half of Less Than Jake's discography with little effort. The songs are in your face, catchy, and full of skankable goodness. Some may say the band has "returned" to an earlier sound, but it's just the product of ditching glossy overproduction and continuing to write a mix of social commentary, nostalgic witticisms, and horn-happy sing-alongs.

While the first half of GNV FLA will probably find more replayability as the horns are laid on as thick as the choruses on songs such as "City of Gainesville" and "Does the Lion City Still Roar?", the second half is home to some gems. The rocker "Malachi Richter's Liquor's Quicker," a nod to Malachi Ritscher, who lit himself on fire in Chicago in 2006 to protest the Iraq War, is one of those LTJ songs that is poppy and memorable on the surface, but upon further listens really gets a message out there for the listener to think about their own convictions. "The Space They Can't Touch" figures to be a crowd-pleaser once it gets into rotation on the band's setlists with a sing-along chorus with bounceable horn accents, recalling 2003's Anthem.

Those who felt In With the Out Crowd was mediocre will probably consider this a de facto return to form. The new record is raw, a bit underproduced, yet everything one could expect from a Less Than Jake record. GNV FLA offers a steady mix of rockers and skankers, and as the album draws to a close, you'll be wondering where all the time went; only three out of fourteen tracks clock in over three minutes.

GNV FLA is simply Less Than Jake being Less Than Jake. The band has reached a point in their career that they can do anything they want without the pressure of being asked to write a radio hit. They're dedicated to putting out the best record possible, and this new collection of songs is going to rank right up there among their best work. As the band declares in the album opener, "I may be going broke, but I'm never broken down." Less Than Jake isn't going anywhere except back into steady rotation on your iPod, and GNV FLA proves that unequivocally.
Track List01. City of Gainesville
02. The State of Florida
03. Does the Lion City Still Roar?
04. Summon Monsters
05. Abandon Ship
06. Handshake Meets Pokerface
07. Settling Son
08. Malachi Richter's Liquor's Quicker
09. Golden Age of My Negative Ways
10. The Space They Can't Touch
11. Conviction Notice
12. This One's Gonna Leave a Bruise
13. The Life of the Party Has Left the Building
14. Devil in My DNA
Listen to Less Than JakeAP.net Profile | Myspace |
This review is a user submitted review from Tony Pascarella. You can see all of Tony Pascarella's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 51
09:48 PM on 06/29/08
Tony Pascarella
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Tony Pascarella's Avatar
Just a note, you can buy the whole thing on iTunes for $7.99.
09:53 PM on 06/29/08
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jusscali's Avatar
10:23 PM on 06/29/08
Play Ultimate!
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huckleberry's Avatar
skankable goodness? haha love it. cant wait to buy this
11:44 PM on 06/29/08
has feelings
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heyzombiehitler's Avatar
I don't know why I havnt got this yet. I heard a song from it on the radio and I enjoyed it very much. Tonight this album will be on my ipod.
12:56 AM on 06/30/08
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Heart-A-Tact's Avatar
Oh man. I really need to pick this up.
02:33 AM on 06/30/08
Chris Fallon
True to the Brew
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Chris Fallon's Avatar
Great review Tony. I really love this album.
04:08 AM on 06/30/08
Registered User
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TheGuillotine's Avatar
Really like this album, just picked it up today - heaps better than their last album.
04:27 AM on 06/30/08
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Paulb-182's Avatar
went to my local independant music store saturday to get this album and it was sold out..i refuse to buy it from one of the major CD shops or download it...i neeeed to get down there this saturday again
04:42 AM on 06/30/08
Prison Strength
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hockeyguitar99's Avatar
This album is great, no other way to put it.
04:57 AM on 06/30/08
King of Wrangling
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GlassyLight's Avatar
just for the record, it's roger singing the first song....not chris.

but well done, good sir - i'm digging the hell out of this album.
05:01 AM on 06/30/08
is ridiculously busy
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eucademix's Avatar
the album is great, i love it.
06:06 AM on 06/30/08
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jeremypeele's Avatar
good review tony! i wonder how many more cds ltj has in them.
06:11 AM on 06/30/08
Tyler Dumont
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Tyler Dumont's Avatar
I've been rocking this album for a few weeks now. It's awesome.
06:22 AM on 06/30/08
She'll take fighting chances..
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victoriasdf's Avatar
nice review.

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