From the first notes of the classic skank “Noise Brigade,” an unqualified joy takes over your mind and body.
It’s the immediate herald of some great news: the Mighty Mighty Bosstones have nailed the target they’ve been trying to hit since 1989’s Devil’s Night Out, and it’s all uphill from here. Eschewing many of the ska-core trappings that marked (some would say marred) their previous releases, Let’s Face It could fall through a hole in time to 1983 and land in a tape deck belonging to a Specials fanatic without fazing them.
The lazy swagger of “Royal Oil” stands out, revealing the evolution of vocalist Dicky Barrett; he’s finally discovered the delicate art of less is more. “When you smoke or poke the poison/you lose the chance to be tomorrow,” Barrett intones, revealing a new and unexpected maturity that reaches full voice on “The Impression That I Get,” where he sheepishly admits “I’m not a coward/I’ve just never been tested.”
Even the hard-rocking numbers make informed, adult statements: ” Numbered Days” blasts senseless violence, the weary protagonist “Nevermind Me” tries to shake off a drug-related robbery and “Break So Easily” contemplates mortality in terms even the most devout mosh-pit hardcase could readily understand. Let’s Face It is the manifestation of the promise the Bosstones have shown for eight years. Here’s to dreams fulfilled.