Let’s Face It

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Big Rig/Mercury, 1997


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


By the time of their fifth record, the Bosstones’ time was almost up. They’d had numerous attempts at hits and some decent records, but they never sold. Time was running out and the band knew it. They realized drastic measures had to be taken, so in 1996, they hunkered down with longtime producers Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie and wrote a new batch of songs. These songs would blow up around the world and turn the Bosstones into alternative rock superstars.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

From the opening kick of the first track, “Noise Brigade,” the band was clear in their mission. This is without a doubt the most concise record they ever put out. They had also cut out a lot of the clutter from previous discs; this one clocks in just over half an hour, but it works.

Most people still remember “The Impression That I Get,” the album’s biggest hit and the band’s calling card, but it’s far from a favorite of this writer. Those lie with better tracks like “The Rascal King” and “Royal Oil,” two songs that still sound great all these years later.

As opposed to earlier records, both guitarist Nate Albert and the horn section of Tim Burton, Dennis Brockenborough and Kevin Lenear get proper showing all over the disc and equal time. The pop sounds of the horns and the amazing guitar work from Albert really helped make the band stand out from the likes of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or Save Ferris. Not to mention, the guys really knew how to write great songs. “The Rascal King” is a perfect example: great melodies, great vocals from Dicky Barrett, and an almost timeless appeal that might be harder to find on previous discs.

Even the non-singles still sound great all these years later. The punkish “Desensitized” and the more pop “That Bug Bit Me” have a punch to them that still work all these years later. Songs like “Another Drinkin’ Song” and “1-2-8” don’t have quite the same punch and attack, but they still work within the tapestry of the record.

Simply stated, this is one of the best records of the latter half of the ‘90s and one of the last great ska records.

Rating: A

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