Less Than Jake had not released a full-length of new material in five years until 2013’s See The Light. The ska punk band spent this time back in their hometown in Florida, trying to purify their music and make it sound like how they had originally wanted when they formed.
Most of the songs are less than three minutes in length, but they all contain the distinctive Calypso-infused feeling that the group is known for. The album has an overall theme of not fitting in, but coming to terms with any imperfections in order to use them to stand out. The opener, “Good Enough,” instantly sets the tone of the record, with a short horn riff in the beginning and the lyrics, “We were born into believing that it’s true/What’s been good enough for them should be good enough for you.” “The Troubles” is the most punk rock track, as it features only a subtle horn in the background but an aggressive guitar riff.
Possibly the quirkiest song and definitely the briefest, “A Short History Lesson” starts off with a school bell and the sound of students, and is only a minute and a half long. The closer, “Weekends All Year Long,” is about being stuck in a funk and trying everything to get out of it until you finally feel strongly about something again. It successfully ends the record on a positive note, proving the idea that it is possible to get out of gloomy times alive.
See The Light definitely embodies the band’s signature ska punk style like on previous records, and their punk rock attitude is embedded in their Caribbean groove. Although this album is a little more poppy than their former work, it is still enjoyable and inspirational.
In A Word: Meaningful