The Mighty Mighty Bosstones bring back their signature sound with Pinpoints and Gin Joints

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Pinpoints and Gin Joints

The album starts with a sound familiar to any fan of ska music. It’s an instant reminder that The Mighty Mighty Bosstones haven’t lost it, even after all these years. The band started in back in 1983 playing something completely new: a mixture of punk rock, hardcore and British 2 Tone ska. They were together until 2003 with few line-up changes. From 1989 to 2002, the seminal ska band released 7 albums and reached legendary status in the scene.

After a 4 year hiatus from 2003 to 2007 the band reunited and performed a few small tours. In 2008 they announced they would be recording a new album, and on December 8th, 2009, the band released the first new album since 2002’s A Jackknife to a Swan. This new album, Pinpoints and Gin Joints, really shows that ska is still alive and skanking.

The first track, “Graffiti Worth Reading” opens with the classic sound of third wave ska, high pitched snare drum fills and that “chickah chickah” sound from a clean electric guitar and wailing trumpets and saxophones. It soon explodes into that heavier sound that is The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ signature, complete with Dicky Barrett’s growling vocals. Further into the album, we have the gem of a track, “Not to Me on That Night,” featuring that sweet melancholy sound that the band has time and time again been able to fuse with the upbeat, happy sound of third wave ska.

Much of the album features lyrics that are inspired by Dicky Barrett’s “skewed and slightly distorted look at our world and life in general.” The album as a whole has a nice balance of songs to get up and dance to and songs that would be nice to drive down the highway at sunset to. Introspective lyrics from songs such as “It Will Be” and “Wasted Summers” stand out in stark contrast to the explosive ska sound of “Graffiti Worth Reading” and “I Wrote It,” giving the album the composition it needs to keep you interested throughout.

The only real draw back to the album is that it really isn’t anything new. Sure, we have new songs and new hooks, but a lot of the album feels a little recycled. Despite this fact, the album really is a solid ska album and is sure to please the band’s built-in fan base. Unfortunately, if you’re not a fan of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones or third wave ska, there’s nothing here to reel you in. So if you’re in the market for new ska tracks to jam out to, you’re in luck. If you’re looking for a great album in general, you might want to look elsewhere.

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