Friday, February 16, 2007

Albums That I Love #12: Let's Face It

Bosstones Lets Face It

The late 90s brought us a revival of the genre known as ska. Basically ska music is a lot like punk music, but features brass instruments, generally trumpets and maybe a trombone. This ska revival brought to light some bands who had been at it for quite some time, but hadn't received much attention. Probably the band who got the most press at this time was The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. In 1997, they released their album "Let's Face It" featuring the smash hit "The Impression That I Get", which got tons of play. But the album itself was also a standout. If you aren't familiar with ska music, this might be a good one to check out, although it is maybe a little on the harder side of ska (Ska-core?). Lets dive into the tracks.

1. Noise Brigade
Not sure what this song is about, but its a good intro to the album. Not too hard, just getting our skank on.

2. The Rascal King
A song about smooth-talking criminal.

3. Royal Oil
I really like the way this song just rolls along, laid-back, just chillin'.

4. The Impression That I Get
Of course this song is the star of the album. Just a great song about tragedy and feeling lucky to not have been through what some people I have. You have to love the way Dicky Barrett just belts out the chorus, and the way the horns and guitars really work well together on this one.

5. Let's Face It
This is a song with a message, and the message is its time to move past racism, and race-related violence. The one time I saw the Bosstones play there were some neo-Nazis in the crowd and Dicky really got after them, yelling at them to be bold enough to come up on the stage and say what they thought, but they refused.

6. That Bug Bit Me
A nice uptempo rockin' song.

7. Another Drinking Song
This is a song about drinking (hence the title), and I'm never completely sure whether its against alcoholism or for it. It definitely starts out sounding morose, but ends up rocking to the finish. Has some great lines: "Gonna dive into a dive I've dove into before, gonna haunt a haunt I've haunted like a million times or more", "Just a devotion to a potion...dedication to a medication", "What I've counted on to pick me up has knocked me to me knees".

8. Numbered Days
Another song with a message, this time about a punk who beats up another kid and then when he's in court, his punk "friends" fail to support him.

9. Break So Easily
Kind of a darker, slower song, but with a great chorus. I'm banging my head to it right now.

10. Nevermind Me
I guess this one has a message. Its about a bum asking for money to buy drugs.

11. Desensitized
Lots of yelling in this one. It seems to be about some kind of tragic event in history that has been kind of forgotten. Not sure what event its talking about. Some kind of assassination, maybe?

12. 1-2-8
The album wraps up with another fun song. Again here the lyrics are kind of cryptic. Something about some cooks making some stew and whats in it? -- "no one's really sure". Rockin' from start to finish, with Dicky taking a break from yelling during the verses to sing the chorus.

Again this is an album that I think works better as a whole than as the sum of its parts. It does a good job of mixing in the harder songs with some lighter fare. It has a great flow and I can listen to this album straight through and have done many a time.

1 comment:

Chip Chief said...

A fine pick! Being a big fan of the Bosstones, it was nice to see them make it big (for a while at least). Question the Answers also has a number of good songs. But for a real Ska sound, there is no topping More Noise and Other Disturbances.