In 2000, a Less Than Jake
press release proudly noted that the band had 76 releases to its credit; presumably that number was accurate, for even hardcore fans had trouble keeping track of all the band's music. From the get-go, LTJ
had peppered the scene with releases, appearing on dozens of compilations and unleashing singles with abandon -- so many of both that their second full-length, 1996's Losers, Kings, and Things We Don't Understand
, bundled 20 such offerings onto one CD. That same year, LTJ
signed to Capitol Records, but that didn't change their modus operandi, as they celebrated their good fortune by swiftly handing their next three singles to a trio of indie labels, while gleefully continuing to record a plethora of tracks for compilations. Which brings listeners to Goodbye Blue & White
, an album originally released in 1999, and dedicated exclusively to the band's ever harder to locate vinyl excursions. It's a wild ride, one that cries out for annotation or at least release dates, but neither are provided, shoving younger fans straight onto the roller-coaster ride that careens wildly across the years. Are LTJ
getting tighter with time; is their sound subtly changing as the '90s progress; is their songwriting shifting? You won't answer any of those questions by listening to this set -- you'll be too busy just trying to keep up as LTJ
slam their way through original numbers and a slew of cover songs, the latter of which give some clue and a lot of red herrings to their own influences. As you'd expect, not everything within is of top quality, but there are good times galore regardless, and for fans a kaleidoscopic reminder of all that made the band so revered. Highlights include "Losing Streak," "Yo-Yo Ninja Boy," "Son of Dick," and "Descant," as well as a clutch of exuberant covers.