The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – While We’re At It (Album Review)

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – While We’re At It
Released: 15th June 2018

Lineup:

Dicky Barrett // Lead Vocals
Joe Gittleman // Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton // Tenor Saxophone, Backing Vocals
Ben Carr // Dancer, Backing Vocals, Percussion
Joe Sirois // Drums
Lawrence Katz // Guitar, Backing Vocals
Chris Rhodes // Trombone, Backing Vocals
John Goetchius // Keyboards
Leon Silva // Saxophone, Backing Vocals

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The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, are a band, who, unless you are a devoted ska fan, you probably haven’t thought of since the minor ska explosion that happened around 1997 when The Bosstones released their most successful single ‘The Impression That I Get’ and Reel Big Fish had a minor hit with their cover of ‘Take On Me’. And that is a little disappointing, because ska is a genre full of joy, hope and fun.

 

Kicking off While We’re At It, with ‘Green Bay, Wisconsin’ about the resilience and persistence of keeping going, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones embody the fundamental principles of ska, with its trumpets, uplifiting lyrics and smooth vocals of lead singer Dicky Barrett. Moving to a slower pace with ‘The Constant’ and then picking it up (see what I did there? Ska fans will get it!), with the catchy ‘Wonderful Day for the Race’ a song so positive and hopeful regarding the world and humanity, it could easily be twee, but with the silky saxophone, and masculine vocals it avoids that trap.

Unified’ and ‘Divide’ follow, both tracks that, with its reggae influences, would sound at home on an album by the granddaddies of ska, The Specials rather than The Bosstones contemporaries. ‘Closer to Nowhere’ really brings the ‘pick it up, pick it up’ mentality of two tone ska, and will certainly get you dancing, or at least shimming your body, if that is your thing. ‘Walked Like a Ghost’ heavily incorporates the piano, to bring a more nuanced sound, while ‘Here We Are’ has a distinctly 80’s sounding horn section.

 

The album ends with ‘After The Music Is Over’, a high point, which illustrates a slightly different sound compared to the rest of the LP, starting off as a more jazz influenced tune, it is a song that embraces the horns and piano, letting them have their moment in the sun. The song’s changes in direction, from jazz, to Celtic punk, before returning to the inevitable straight up ska punk sound, which shows The Mighty Mighty Bosstones fun, silly side whilst letting them demonstrate their musical abilities.

Ska music is underrated in today’s day and age, and with the state of the world and all of its seriousness, more people should give it a listen. Fun and joyous, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones latest offering is inoffensive and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – While We’re At It tracklisting:

  1. Green Bay, Wisconsin
  2. The Constant
  3. Wonderful Day For The Race
  4. Unified
  5. Divide
  6. Closer to Nowhere
  7. Walked Like A Ghost
  8. The West Ends
  9. Here We Are
  10. The Mad Dash
  11. Absolutely Wrong
  12. In Honor Of
  13. Hugo’s Wife
  14. After The Music Is Over

Rating: 7.5/10
While We’re At It is Out Now. Grab a copy here
Review by Carys Hurcom

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1 Comment on The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – While We’re At It (Album Review)

  1. Elgin McElroy // June 26, 2018 at 10:40 am // Reply

    I’d probably rank it a bit higher because it’s just so much damn fun…with a bit of a message. But I agree with your general assessment: heavier on the ska, lighter on the core, reggae influences, bright.

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