When you hear the line “New Jersey’s most accomplished ska-punk combo,” about a hundred bad jokes come to mind, and only about half of those are about New Jersey.
The ska-punk trend seems to be dead, but don’t tell Catch-22 that. Still, listening to them sucks me straight back into the late ’90s and the end of my teenage years.
It’s exponentially easier to write a review of a live record (and DVD!) when combining it with a show preview for their appearance here in Denver, playing the Bluebird with Spitalfield on Wednesday, March 16. I can tell you that the live record sounds like lots of fun, high-energy enough for my three-cups-of-coffee morning and so damn happy that I can see why these guys have decided to keep making a decidedly un-hip and un-sexy style of music: they genuinely love it. With songs spanning their entire catalog, and of course the obligatory between-song wiseass banter, if you like the band live, you’ll like the record, and vice versa.
Their Victory Records tour buddies Spitalfield is very bit the indie-pop-rock band of the type currently popular with today’s disaffected (but not too disaffected) youth. This bill combines today’s trendy music with yesterday’s, but if you’re not too cool for it, you could have a great time. Just don’t go expecting to stand there with your arms crossed across your chest. Go, dance, and enjoy yourself, and I promise not to tell anyone that you still like ska.