Less Than Jake - TV/EP

Album cover
Punk, Ska
Sleep It Off Records
Less Than Jake
TV/EP
Less Than Jake - TV/EP Review rating:
2.5
User rating:
Average: 4 (2 votes)

What's there to say about cover albums that hasn't already been said?  They're a "rite of passage," so to speak, in the punk genre, and any band that is any band has released one.  But what is it about cover albums that make them so alluring to bands?  The fact that all they have to do is re-work the song structure and put their spin on it?  Or are they truly just a fun, easy way to keep fans from rioting between new, original material?  For ska-punk stalwarts Less Than Jake, the answer comes in the form of the latter, as the TV/EP sees the band cranking out 16 covers of popular television theme songs and commercials. 

There really isn’t much to talk about with this EP.  Clocking in at just over 11 minutes, the TV/EP brings nothing new.  The 16 tracks (with the longest being the Laverne and Shirley theme, which was previously released) are standard Less Than Jake tracks.  While they add nothing new, there are still some fun moments.  “Animaniacs” brings back childhood memories before changing tempos mid-song.  “Pac Man Cereal” will stay stuck in your head and make you want to do the “Pac Man,” while “Scooby Doo” will have you singing along like you did when you were a kid.  “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Malcolm In The Middle,” and “That 70’s Show” are throw aways, as the band hardly do anything to make the songs their own.  Sure, the horns are prevalent in all three tracks, but they all sound exactly like their original counterparts.

Less Than Jake can afford to phone one in from time to time.  With 7 full lengths and 5 EP’s under their belts, fan can rest assured that the band is still releasing quality music after 18 years.  Chris Demakes and Roger Manganelli sound revamped behind the mic, and the rest of the band sound as energized as ever.  This may be somewhat of a throw away record, but at least it’s a fun listen.  

1. Channel 1 (iCarly)
2. Channel 2 (Hungry, Hungry Hippos)
3. Channel 3 (Animaniacs)
4. Channel 4 (Big Mac)
5. Channel 5 (Diff'rent Strokes)
6. Channel 6 (Malcolm In The Middle)
7. Channel 7 (Pac Man Cereal)
8. Channel 8 (Scooby Doo)
9. Channel 9 (Kit Kat)
10. Channel 10 (Sponge Bob Square Pants)
11. Channel 11 (That 70's Show)
12. Channel 12 (Oscar Meyer)
13. Channel 13 (Married With Children)
14. Channel 14 (Toys R Us)
15. Channel 15 (Laverne & Shirley)
16. Channel 16 (FreeCreditReport.com)

Less Than Jake is a ska-punk band formed in 1992 in Gainesville, Florida. They were recently released from their contract with Warner Brothers. Their current line-up includes Chris (vocals, guitar), Roger (bass, vocals, guitar at certain live shows), Vinnie (drums, lyricist), Buddy (trombone, bass at certain live shows) and JR (saxophone). The band's name derives from a dog Vinnie had while growing up, which was treated better than the rest of the family. It's also a reference to the phrase "everything is jake," which is an old phrase meaning everything is cool.

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