Less Than Jake – Losing Streak: #361 of best 1,000 albums ever!

So why is Less Than Jake’s Losing Streak on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

There was a phase, an era of sorts, in my life when a handful of ska punk bands were core to my musical identity.

Some of those bands include The Mighty Mighty BossTones, Operation Ivy, Rancid, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and The Suicide Machines.

And Less Than Jake.

Over the course of their career, Less Than Jake developed a somewhat more polished ska punk sound that clearly pointed more at a pop/rock-oriented audience and mainstream radio play. For me, Losing Streak – the band’s debut album from 1996, captures Less Than Jake at their raucous, scruffy-around-the-edges, frantic-paced best.

“How’s My Driving, Doug Hastings?” is a song that whips by in one minute and 24 seconds while managing to tell a rather harrowing little cautionary tale. It’s also infinitely catchy and sonically ebullient and wonderful. And the horn-based hook is an all-timer.

In short, “How’s My Driving, Doug Hastings?” is one of my favorite ska punk songs of all time.  

“Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts” starts out with an old school ska rhythm before zooming into hyper speed ska punk that’s propulsive and exhilarating.

“Dopeman” again has a stellar hook and is catchy as all get out. The most versatile ska punk bands, as Less Than Jake shows off here, are able to show off different dimensions in their music, and this one deftly lightens up on the punk side a bit to show off its legit feel for ska.

While the lyrics on many of Losing Streak’s tracks trend toward darker topics such as drug abuse and violence, it’s nice to get a straight ahead breakup song like “Jen Doesn’t Like Me Anymore,” which has a little bit of Ramones influence in its effective simplicity.

Some stats & info about Less Than Jake – Losing Streak

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Ska Punk, Punk Rock, Third Wave Ska Revival, Pop Punk
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was Losing Streak released? 1996
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #361 out of 1,000

Less Than Jake’s Losing Streak on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Less Than Jake’s Losing Streak that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

When it all came down on a Saturday night, should I choose a side at 9th and Pine?

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.