1998: Less Than Jake - “All My Best Friends are Metalheads”

Nothing seems special about Less Than Jake. Just another Warped Tour band with ska horns having a jolly ol’ time. Of course, appearances and sounds can be deceiving.

Musically speaking, the song “All My Best Friends are Metalheads” is a party; lyrically, it’s a little bit sad. “Yet all this really mean is/ you’re one in a crowd and you’re paranoid of every sound/ another friend you won’t miss anyhow.” Few songs in the 90s talked about dressing the part but not being what you pretended to be in such a personal, relatable way — most were content to simply point an accusing finger at posers. By the same token, “All My Best Friends…” also addresses group mentality, which can feel like loneliness in disguise, especially when you can’t really know people as individuals. That isolation is echoed in the lyrics “Did we take the time/ to really discover/ how little do we know about each other?” It’s a heavy sentiment for a band whose contemporaries were, for the most part, goofballs doing funny covers of pop songs. Yet Less Than Jake also represent the “whitening” of ska by abandoning the issues presented by their ancestors, the Two-Tone bands and their racial concerns; not that its their obligation to preach integration.

Ska punk is contradictory, a genre that, in the 90s, mixed raging guitars, dumb lyrics and feel good dance music from the Bahamas. In general, it’s a sound that doesn’t appear complicated or deep on the surface, but one that can communicate good feelings and positive social politics.


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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