Less Than Jake

In With the Out Crowd

The trombone and sax players in Less Than Jake must have been bored when recording In With the Out Crowd. The band has traded its signature ska sound for a pop-punk one, leaving few opportunities for the brass instruments to chime in. As a fan of earlier albums like 1996’s Losing Streak, I’m a bit disappointed to see the band throw out the elements that set it apart in order to cash in on the latest teeny-bopper pop-punk trend. I would have expected the band members (probably in their 30s by now) to mature with their long-time fans instead of perpetually targeting 15-year-olds. “Overrated (Everything Is)” will likely become the next overplayed radio-friendly single, with sophomoric lyrics like, “I think sex is overrated / and so is always getting wasted / ’Cause all my friends and family they make my life so complicated.” Less Than Jake almost redeems itself on the last few tracks, though. “P.S. Shock the World” and “Let Her Go” take back the band’s ska flavor with catchy brass instrumental bits that will make you want to hop around.