5/10 (4/5 for Jaya and 1/5 for Mad Caddies)
Growing up I listened to a lot of Capdown, Less Than Jake & Reel Big Fish. I thoroughly recommend listening to ‘Scott Farcas Takes It On The Chin’ by Less Than Jake. It takes a nervous, anxious teenage story about feeling unhappy and detached and sets it to a backdrop of guitar riffs and trumpets. This is what made this music so universal; at some point every teenager feels misunderstood.
Ska-punk can be playful, fun and original. Jaya the Cat absolutely stole the show. They look like Dutch punks that went to colonize America: discovering sunshine, reggae and marijuana along the way. Their “dirty drunk reggae” music made a strong connection with the crowd. Having the Caddies follow that with generic ska-pop-punk-reggae mashup material was just unfair. There is nothing original or memorable about their new music. They sound like a cover band of The Specials trying to score radio-friendly hits. Some bands stay together too long, and make music that is honestly not as good as their back catalogue. Mad Caddies are in danger of being a perfect example of this. The crowd went wild for ‘Monkeys’ which they originally released in 1998.
‘Monkeys’ is an exciting song. It has trumpets, interesting snare-drum patterns, time-changes and is frantic when fast and swaggering/burlesque when slow. The album it is from Duck and Cover is solid. Listen to ‘Econoline’ from the album and you can hear them at their best. It is angry, and misunderstood and shares some of the qualities that make ‘Scott Farcas…’ by Less Than Jake so strong.
I am keen to see Jaya the Cat live again; but will steer clear of Mad Caddies unless they go back to their pre 2000 line-up. Their new album Dirty Rice is not worth listening to if you like their old music.