Streetlight Manifesto was built to be the "dream team" of ska music, so to say. Some of the top names got together to form Streetlight Manifesto. And any fan of the genre should be damn glad they got together. The band is consisted of members from Catch 22 and One Cool Guy. Both which are great bands. And Catch 22 released a CD a few years ago titled Keasby Nights which many thought to be the greatest ska CD. Well I can safely say this blows Keasby Nights away. In all aspects, this CD is truly amazing. There are very few flaws, mostly minor and really nothing worth mentioning. So lets move on to the many positives this CD offers you.
First and foremost, Streetlight Manifesto has so much energy. Almost every song is blaring with tremendous beats and catchy horns. The sound, which they created, is distinctly theirs. Its fast paced and very fun to listen to. The first time through this CD I immediately listened to it all the way through 3 times. I was speechless - it was ska perfection at its finest. I was so pumped after listening to it, it really lifted my spirits.
Tomas Kalnoky is a ska genius. He wrote the songs, produced the album, is the lead singer and plays guitar. And all of which is done excellently. Many people, including myself did not like Catch 22 once Tomas Kalnoky left the band after the legendary Keasby Nights album. One of the main reasons for this was that the lyrics and vocals were much weaker, two of Tomas's strong points. His voice fits the music perfectly. It's energetic and emotional but not too soft sounding and not to hardcore sounding, kind of like Streetlight Manifesto.
Another thing I love about this CD is the fact that the songs are long. So many punk and ska albums I purchase and I rarely find one with more songs that are three plus minutes than ones that are less than 3 minutes. Streetlight Manifesto also gives the music a more dramatic and emotional feel to the music by the slowing down and speeding up throughout the album, it always keeps you on your toes. And this, in turn, works in harmony with the lyrics which like I mentioned are amazing. They deal with many issues young adults face and not just your typical girl problems kind of songs. That's too cliché for a band that is so not cliché.
The songs I would recommend which in my opinion fit what I described perfectly would be: Point/Counterpoint, A Moment of Violence, and Here's To Life. But the best song without question would have to be A Better Place, A Better Time. It starts out slowly then it starts to pick up. The lyrics are wonderful and have a very powerful message to them. Unlike other bands they dealt with teens contemplating suicide much better. Instead of making them feel depressed and giving them a reason to take their own life they tell them how much they have to live for and all the things they would regret. And midway through this 6 minutes of bliss it really starts to pick up and has a great horns and bass section. This song embodies everything that is Streetlight Manifesto.
Overall this album is fantastic. There is not one bad song on it. Everything Goes Numb shows that ska is alive and well today. Any fan of the genre or old Catch 22 will love this. Music fans in general should really be treated to this experience of a CD, which blends elements of reggae and punk perfectly with ska. I have recommended this album to several people and they fell in love with it just like I did and I hope others too will appreciate Streetlight Manifesto's contribution to the ska community.