Spring Heeled Jack U.S.A.

Songs from Suburbia

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While Spring Heeled Jack earned themselves a niche in the East Coast ska scene with their debut album Static World View, the follow-up Songs From Suburbia is far superior. The band wrote better songs, the album's production enables one to actually hear what they're singing about, and the lyrics are amusing. The video for the album's first single "Jolene" got the band some airplay on MTV's 120 Minutes. The song, which is one of the finest penned by the group, is an upbeat horn-based ska tune with the memorable hook phrase "Jolene we know, that you'll never let us go." The tune was actually about the group's first tour van. Numerous tracks have this same type of humorous twist; "Pop Song (Green)," for example, is a pop-punk tune about writing catchy pop songs. The album's most compelling track "MCMLIX" (1959) is a youthful criticism of the Baby Boom generation. It points out that the '50s were not as innocent a time as parents sometimes lead their kids to believe. Unfortunately, because this album came after the band's departure from Moon Records and appeared to be leaning closer to a mainstream rock radio blend of punk ska similar to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, some accused the group of selling out. These often psychotically fickle fans are simply missing out on one of the better albums of ska's third wave.

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