Less Than Jake’s 10 favorite albums of 2021
Ska-punk lifers Less Than Jake released their new album Silver Linings at the tail-end of 2020, and followed it this year with a split 7" with Kill Lincoln, which was also the first installment in Bad Time Records' new Wavebreaker split series (pick up a copy). They also returned to the road this year, and now that 2021 is coming to a close, we asked the band what their favorite albums of the year were. They made a band-wide top 10 (with each member choosing two albums), and it includes everything from forebears like Descendents to longtime contemporaries like Quicksand and Jeff Rosenstock to newer bands like Turnstile and Teenage Wrist (and Roger picked one of his own bands). Check out the full list and read commentary on each pick below...
Des Rocs - A Real Good Person In. A Real Bad Place (300 Entertainment)
Des is a relatively new artist, starting out around 2018. Part dance, part electronica, part punk and part rock. Des produces and records all his own material right from his MacBook. It’s incredible the sounds he puts together. The single “MMC” smokes.
Propagandhi- Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes (FAT Wreck Chords)
Yes, this record came out in 2001. However, I felt it was worthy of inclusion here due to the fact that this remix is absolutely incredible. Jason Livermore re-mixed the album so well that it sounds like a new release to me. The original was awesome, but this record is my favorite Propagandhi album now because of this reissue.
True Loves - Sunday Afternoon (Color Red Music)
I only heard about these guys recently from one of my closest friends that I actually played trombone with all through high school. I was so impressed with this band out of the gate for having an old school '70s funk sound and style but with a fresh modern take. I feel as though instrumental bands don’t get enough credit in today’s musical landscape. They remind me of the Meters or the J.B.’s instrumental records.
Quicksand - Distant Populations (Epitaph Records)
I saw Quicksand in the early '90s on the recommendation of a friend at the time. I had never heard of them or seen them. I was so blown away at the show that I got their record, Slip, the very next day and listened to it on repeat. They never came back to Gainesville while I was in town and I never crossed paths with them on the road and then they broke up. I was so bummed I never got to see them play again after I knew all of their songs. So when they got back together a few years ago, I jumped right back on board and this is the second record that they’ve put out since getting back together. It’s like they never broke up; Walt’s haunting melodies are just as infectious and the music is just as tough, yet somehow catchy and melodic. Oh, and I still haven’t gotten to see them live again…YET!
Turnstile - GLOW ON (Roadrunner)
This album pretty much checks all the right boxes for me when it comes to an album: exciting, unpredictable yet familiar, takes unexpected turns and just flat out rips from start to finish. This band has the best parts of punk, hardcore and electronic music but never feels forced. "BLACKOUT" and "HOLIDAY" are the standout tracks for me. I look forward to seeing where this band goes musically.
Teenage Wrist - Earth Is A Black Hole (Epitaph)
I’ve always been a “melody first” guy when I hear music. Teenage Wrists’ melodies grabbed me immediately. Then I realized the songwriting was as strong as the melodies. Next thing I know I’m on my third listen of this album. "Taste of Gasoline" and "New Emotion" are for sure my favorite songs overall, but from start to finish, this is a solid album. Great pop rock!
Descendents - 9th and Walnut (Epitaph)
Featured track: "Tired of Being Tired"
Like uncovered buried treasure, this release of old songs that were never released really hit the spot! Put me right back to that feeling of picking up I Don't Want to Grow Up on cassette and loving the quirkiness, tightness and pure joy that is the Descendents, one of my favorite bands of all time.
Rehasher - Tasty Slices Vol. 1 (Smartpunk/Sbam)
Featured track: "...And Your Bird Can Sing"
For fans of Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies and the like, this covers record is a bop! Sick drumming and punk takes on songs ranging from Green Day to The Police to '70s classics, I wouldn't sleep on this if you're a fan of Less Than Jake and Roger (me) on vocals!
Silk Sonic - An Evening with Silk Sonic (Aftermath/Atlantic)
What an AWESOME end of the year surprise. Such a cool vibe that fully captures the '70s while still sounding modern. An R&B superduo singing about getting it on? Yes please!
Jeff Rosenstock - SKA DREAM (Polyvinyl)
We all loved NO DREAM, so why not release SKA DREAM!?! It’s been really cool watching Jeff and company carve out their own path in this crazy industry and SKA DREAM is a perfect example of that. What a fun one!