The Science Of Selling Yourself Short – Less Than Jake

Essentially this site is a list of my favourite songs. Sometimes the themes and the new releases and the blah blah blah get between that fact and the dialogue I have with you Dear Reader. Not today. Oh no.

This is the mighty Less Than Jake (probably not many people’s favourite band or ‘layers down of’ a favourite track) a band I have taken to my heart disproportionately deeply given their output, their place in the rock and roll firmament and how I came to listen to them in the first place.

“I’ve come to my senses That I’ve become senseless”

I first heard them covering David Cassidy on the Scream 2 soundtrack and they made me smirk. That’s it. That’s my ‘how I met your mother’ episode for Less Than Jake. A ska punk cover on a 90’s film soundtrack made me smirk.

Then I heard All My Best Friends Are Metalheads and I bought the twofer Hello Rockview/Losing Streak and I was smitten. I was at their 2001 Astoria show which has since been released on live double vinyl. Sure, why wouldn’t I have been? I had a wicked Blue LTJ T-Shirt for much of the 00’s which was always being worn by whoever I was going out with at the time rather than by me.

This is not exactly a road to Damascus story. Borders and Boundaries was an even better album than Rockview in my humblest of opinions. It featured the glorious Look What Happened and a raft of other tracks I listened to on repeat for a couple of years along side the burgeoning New Rock Revolution and Millennium scenes.

“So I sit and wait and wonder Does anyone else feel like me? Someone so tired of their routines and disappearing self-esteems”

This track came along 3 years after all that in 2003. I was no longer a single bloke living in Gigsville with his Graphic Designer Mates and an affinity for clubs where the entire interior is painted black. I was a married man. I had a wife, a mortgage and as it turns out I was about to lose my job.

“I’ll sing along Yeah with every emergency Just sing along I’m the king of catastrophes I’m so far gone That deep down inside I think it’s fine by me I’m my own worst enemy”

Less than 18 months into my marriage and I suddenly had to reassess how I could contribute to our future. I no longer lived in my old city, I had a lengthy commute to any kind of paid work and I’d promised to do right by a woman who was flying in her own career while I was back at zero.

“Let the meaning slip away Lost my faith in another day, Self deprecation seems okay I never thought I’d make it anyway”

I’ve always seen music as something akin to group therapy. Always relied on a good tune to sort me out when I’m locking it all in or struggling to get it out. It may sound like an overstatement to say this record helped me when I was making some major adjustments.

I went to dozens upon dozens of job interviews during 2003 to 2004. I worked agency gigs and volunteered to show up and work for free to get a foot in the door somewhere I could start to pay my way. My wonderful Mrs stood by me, supported me and encouraged me with every twist and turn.

Looking back on all this 15 or so years later The Science Of Selling Yourself Short is the soundtrack to a montage of memories around growing up, really growing up. Having to make decisions about what you want and what you need. About what’s really important to you and about getting that part right.

I don’t imagine too many other people see or hear that when they think of Less Than Jake. And yet for me that’s what make this an Anthem in the true meaning of the word.

2 thoughts on “The Science Of Selling Yourself Short – Less Than Jake

  1. I recall passing this band cursorily during my days, but they’ve never made much of an impression on me…until now. This is simply fantastic; I love the Bosstones feel of it. And your write-ups, dude; it’s like seeing the end has really taken you to another level. Dostoyevsky would understand, I’m sure. Props on it all. I’ve just put on the full run if Borders and Boundaries on YouTube, and from the outset I’m wondering how this band passed me by without making an impression. I imagine the guys of Blink sitting around, listening to this, and saying, “See? That’s what we should sound like.!” Thanks for pointing once more; I know who I’ll be listening to tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Borders And Boundaries is the one. It’s like a rock opera in modern ennui. The fantastic way Bad Scene And A Basement Show slips into Is This Thing On? Is a beautiful moment. Look What Happened is on there in its original form and the opener Magnetic North is another perfect pop punk monument.


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