GNV FLA

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GNV FLA
LTJ-GNV-FLA.jpg
Studio album by Less Than Jake
Released June 24, 2008
Recorded March 2008
Atlas Studios, Chicago, IL
Genre Ska punk, pop punk
Length 34:58
Label Sleep It Off, Cooking Vinyl
Producer Matt Allison, Roger Lima
Less Than Jake chronology
In with the Out Crowd
(2006)
GNV FLA
(2008)
TV/EP
(2010)

GNV FLA is the seventh studio album by Less Than Jake, released on June 24, 2008 on Sleep It Off and Cooking Vinyl. The album was produced by both Matt Allison and the band's co-lead vocalist and bass guitarist Roger Lima.

Title and sound[edit]

In an interview promoting the record, saxophonist JR states that when the band were:

"conceptualizing what we wanted to do with the next record, we were like, "We should do what we've always done, and do what we do best. I think that's why we ended up calling the record "GNV FLA' (Gainesville Florida), because it's like we've come full circle, we've come home.

Guitarist Chris Demakes states that the band "wrote a quintessential Less Than Jake record"[1] and that the album includes "lots of horns and lots of vocals."[1]

The album's title is an abbreviation of the band's hometown, Gainesville, Florida. Corey Apar from Allmusic writes that: "Less Than Jake have essentially created a bittersweet tribute to their hometown of Gainesville, sparing no detail in naming the album GNV FLA, stringing the liner notes together with bleak snapshots of the city, and littering song names and lyrics with nods to both the state of Florida and the beloved college town of their inception."[2] In the album's liner notes, the band thank the city, calling it: "the town that inspired the record."

Similarly, the press release for the album reads:

It's a return to form that could be called the “traditional” Less Than Jake sound, complete with their trademark bouncy ska grooves and horns galore, GNV FLA comes full circle with the band’s beginnings, when they were scrapping up money from gigs to augment their Pez collections.[3]

In a later interview, drummer and songwriter Vinnie Fiorello considered it to be his least favorite Less Than Jake album. "I think I look at it as a transition record. [...] it was in the winter and my focus was a bit dark on the lyrical side. [...] I just feel the overall production is stiff and dark. [...] It was tribute to the state of Florida. I focused a lot on the darker side of what Florida has, instead of the good things. I concentrated on drug dealers and tourists and real estate scams and trailer parks and transients."[4]

Song information[edit]

Scott Klopfenstein, from Reel Big Fish, provided additional trumpet parts on several tracks, while Neil Hennessy, from The Lawrence Arms, provides additional percussion throughout the album.

"Malachi Richter" is based on a real person, Malachi Ritscher (he's credited as Malachi Richter on the Arsenal EP he played bass for in 1989). Richter is the latest person to self-immolate in the US when he did so alongside the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago during rush hour on November 3, 2006, protesting the Iraq War. The beginning speech in the song is an actual excerpt from Richter's suicide note.

Release[edit]

Regarding the band's decision to release the record on their own label, JR mentions that the band:

"could have gone with Epitaph Records or Fat Wreck Chords, but we figured we had enough experience among the five of us doing almost every facet of what it takes to run a label. Now we control everything we do. It's kind of scary, kind of creepy and a lot of fun; I wake up every day at, like, 9 o'clock in the morning and I work on my band. And it's not just the music side of things; it's marketing, online promotion, talking to dudes at radio stations. We work really hard and try to do it as best as we can. We're our own band, we're going to go on tour, put out records, and go on tour. That's it."[5]

"Does the Lion City Still Roar?", was uploaded to their official website on May 25, 2008 for fans to download for free,[citation needed] and released as a single on June 30, with "All Time Low" and a demo of "Handshake Meets Pokerface" as the B-sides.[6] "Does the Lion City Still Roar?" impacted radio on July 1.[7] "Abandon Ship" was released as a single on November 3.[8]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk.net (87%) link
AllMusic 4.0/5 stars link
Bombshellzine.com 3/5 stars link
Kerrang! 4/5 stars
Punknews.org 4/5 stars link
Rocklouder.co.uk 3/5 stars link

GNV FLA has received positive reviews. Corey Apar from Allmusic said that "[...] on GNV FLA, Less Than Jake are still very much alive, and their exuberant, singalong melodies are heightened this time by actually being sung with heart, feeling, and a sense of fondness". Tony Pascarella from AbsolutePunk.net said that "They're dedicated to putting out the best record possible, and this new collection of songs is going to rank right up there among their best work".

The album debuted at #61 on the Billboard 200 and at #9 on the Top Independent Albums charts on the week ending on July 12, selling 10,300 copies in that week.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "City of Gainesville" 1:53
2. "The State of Florida" 2:15
3. "Does the Lion City Still Roar?" 2:41
4. "Summon Monsters" 2:42
5. "Abandon Ship" 3:29
6. "Handshake Meet Pokerface" 2:41
7. "Settling Son" 3:01
8. "Malachi Richter's Liquor's Quicker" 2:37
9. "Golden Age of My Negative Ways" 1:40
10. "The Space They Can't Touch" 2:53
11. "Conviction Notice" 2:34
12. "This One Is Going to Leave a Bruise" 2:25
13. "The Life of the Party Has Left the Building" 0:39
14. "Devil in My DNA" 3:28
Box Set
  1. "Malachi Richter's Liquor's Quicker (Live)" - 2:24
  2. "Antidote for the Underdog" - 2:28
  3. "Settling Son (Demo)" - 3:01
  4. "Conviction Notice (Demo)" - 2:31
  5. "Does the Lion City Still Roar? (Live)" - 2:44
  6. "All Time Low" - 2:54
  7. "Handshake Meet Pokerface (Demo)" - 2:45
  8. "Summon Monsters (Live)" - 2:45
  9. "Conviction Notice (Acoustic)" - 2:27
  10. "Malachi Richter's Liquor's Quicker (Acoustic)" - 2:20
  11. "Golden Age of My Negative Ways (Acoustic)" - 1:43
  12. "Malachi Richter's Liquor's Quicker (Demo)" - 2:17
  13. "Sleep It Off (Live)" - 2:21

B-Sides[edit]

  • "All Time Low" – 2:56
  • "Antidote for the Underdog" – 2:27
  • "Settling Son" (Demo)
  • "Malachi Richter's Liquor's Quicker" (Demo)

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
US Billboard Top Internet Albums 61[9]
US Billboard 200[10] 61
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[11] 9

References[edit]

External links[edit]