Legends at work
When thinking about ska, chances are people think of The Mighty Mighty BossToneS. The legendary band started in the early ’80s and then changed the scene forever with their hit “The Impression That I Get” in 1997. After almost 40 years, the band now released their 11th record, When God Was Great. The album was produced by no other than Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, who also created the label Hellcat and Ted Hutt, singer of Flogging Molly. With so many legends in the work process, this album promises great things.
The second track on the album, “MOVE,” really has the beats to move along to, but also the message of the lyrics resonate. “We are all in this together/ I never felt so alone” can be the unofficial motto of the pandemic. The light-heartedness of the song feels so good, and it kind of creates a smile on the listener’s face. Life really is hard, but there is always a silver lining. “I DON’T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING,” continues with a great beat that is so catchy that it probably be stuck in your head for a while.
The title track “WHEN GOD WAS GREAT” is filled with nostalgia, longing for the good old days when life just was a little easier. The whole song is a little slower and holds back at points, which just helps to create an even bigger feeling of longing. “LONG AS I CAN SEE THE LIGHT” is another slower track. The feeling of better days remains.
The last song on the album, “THE FINAL PARADE,” is by far the longest song on the entire record, coming in at eight minutes. The band definitely uses the time wisely. The song is filled with features. First up, we have the one and only Aimee Interrupter, Producer Tim Armstrong sings a few verses, Fishbone’s Angelo Moore contributes as well. But it might be worth looking that song up on the band’s website for a full list of guest artists on this song alone. Due to all these high-class guest acts, the song really does feel like a love letter to the ska scene, like lead singer Dicky Barett points out. It’s the perfect ending to another legendary ska album.
When God Was Great has ups and downs, but not in quality. The album shows that ska has so much feeling, the good ones and the bad ones. After almost 40 years in the business, The Mighty Mighty BossToneS are so experienced; it’s not surprising they nailed this album. 15 tracks and none is like the other. It’s unhinged fun with some real emotions.