Courtesy of Travis Barker’s cultural renaissance and the prominence of artists like Machine Gun Kelly …
“We played around with our punk-rock-reggae sound/‘Cause sometimes dancing is all you’ve got/We were crankin’/And we were skankin’… All over the world.” These lyrics from album closer The Final Parade – which features an endless array of guest artists; a who’s who of ska, if you will – perfectly encapsulate The Mighty Mighty BossToneS’ raison d’être: a sonic celebration of community.
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But these Bostonian ska-punk pioneers also sprinkle social commentary throughout their 11th record, When God Was Great.
Standout track The Killing Of Georgie (Part III) sneaks up on you, opening with a lament (“Good morning, America/What is on your mind?/We were so close to something that we all could get behind…”) before verse two commemorates George Floyd (“Georgie, please stay/They took your breath away”). A rallying cry showcasing shimmering, rapidfire piano playing and the band’s trademark jubilant brass stabs, this song’s arrangement pares back to solo female a cappella to serve a final glimmer of hope: “They can shake down the mountains/The hills can be removed/But love and faith/Won’t be replaced.” While we skank along, Dicky Barrett’s spicy, gravelly delivery gives us much to contemplate. Extremely powerful stuff.
Dicky Barrett’s spicy, gravelly delivery gives us much to contemplate. Extremely powerful stuff. 15 tracks, zero filler.
Certain Things was inspired by classic American songwriters such as Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell. Don’t let that scare you however ‘cause this album highlight is also distinctly BossToneS – it slaps! But there’s also masterful storytelling within lyrics: “You know I almost bought a gun/After all I’ve said and done… Just don’t turn your back on me and please don’t walk away/I hope it all turns out okay.” Elsewhere, there’s the obligatory mention of going down to Kingston (Lonely Boy), a rollicking reimagining of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Long As I Can See The Light and an ode to enduring friendship featuring glorious harmonica solo (It Went Well) – 15 tracks, zero filler.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Certain Things, The Killing Of Georgie (Part III), The Final Parade
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