Less Than Jake / Kill Lincoln – Wavebreaker #1 (Bad Time Records)

Less Than Jake / Kill Lincoln - Wavebreaker #1 - Bad Time Records

I am totally into the music of both groups for months (been listening to Less Than Jake for twenty years or so), but somehow I missed the news about their recent split release. It seems I somehow managed to put this information under the rug for no particular reason because I can’t recall seeing the news about it at all. Less Than Jake and Kill Lincoln are both at the peak of their careers and probably one of the best contemporary ska-punk bands. If you’re a ska fan and you anyhow missed their previous recordings, then you’re probably doing something wrong. This particular split release is the first edition of a Wavebreaker split 7″ series by Bad Time Records, with a purpose to bridge the gap between the third wave and the current ska-punk resurgence.

Each group offers one composition per side. Less Than Jake are opening this split release with their recognizable ska-punk style, adored by so many fans for nearly three decades. Less Than Jake is one of those bands that are using an already proven formula and sticking to what they do the best. Need Some Shaking showcases the brilliance of this band in all its glory. The composition commences with dynamic tempo and classic melodic punk rock chord progressions, enhanced by a detailed brass section and powerful chants by Chris DeMakes. Less Than Jake always pays a lot of attention to the thematics of the brass section, while the string instruments are mainly supporting these themes with massive riffs, chord progressions, and thoughtfully assembled basslines. The rhythm section keeps everything in line with dynamic performance but also accentuates particular segments when necessary. The slower rhythms during the choruses are really making the difference, mainly because all the instruments are shining bright on the spotlight alongside Roger Lima’s recognizable chants. This number bursts with pure energy, so if you loved Less Than Jake before, you will love them now even more.

Kill Lincoln is on the other side of this superb split release. The group roams the ska scene for a decade or so if I am not mistaken. Since 2011, they have released four full-lengths, such as You Were There, That’s Cool…In A Totally Negative And Destructive Way, Good Riddance To Good Advice, and Can’t Complain. Their tune Going Under somehow perfectly matches the Less Than Jake side of the split record. Kill Lincoln solely relies upon moderate rhythmic sequences, profoundly distorted chord progressions, and ear-appealing brass themes. However, during the verse, the group introduces perfectly executed ska chops, brass accentuations but sticks to the same tempo. Besides flawlessly performed lead vocals, you may encounter some background vocals and singalongs, which are spicing this composition even more. The brass section entirely nails throughout the song and keeps things interesting besides ska chops and impressive low-end tones. Kill Lincoln are not joking at all, and Going Under proves my point. It is a perfectly executed number that fills all the requirements of ska-punk as a genre. If you never heard this band before, they could easily become your favorite ska-punk band after checking out this tune.

Wavebreaker #1 is a must for every ska-punk fan who wants to stay up to date with superb ska music nowadays. Head over to Bad Time Records for more detailed information about ordering.

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