Streetlight Manifesto – 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume I Streetlight Manifesto – 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume I

Streetlight Manifesto - 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume I

Streetlight Manifesto - 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume I

Streetlight Manifesto continues to shepherd all things ska in an attempt to cater to a cult audience.  A proper release not appearing since 2007’s Somewhere in the Between, Streetlight returns with Volume I of a daunting eight full-length albums undertaking of covers.  99 Songs of Revolution will span four bands, mostly being “Streetlight Manifesto related”, and cover exactly 99 songs.

The choice of covered songs is certainly high profile, the highest of which is probably “Such Great Heights” originally from The Postal Service.  “Linoleum” (NOFX), “Punk Rock Girl” (The Dead Milkmen), “Birds Flying Away” (Mason Jennings), and “Little Red Ball” (Paul Simon) are other recognizable performances.  Streetlight manages to give each of these songs their special ska-punk touch despite the majority of songs already holstered and floating around in the Cover Universe.

“Such Great Heights” appears as the closing track while simultaneously delivering the crest of the album.  Four horns in place of synthesizers further create a smashingly striking and raucous taping, more so than the original.  Introducing more energy and chaos destroys the Ben Gibbard vocal performance, rendering it forgettable.  Preferably I will take the Streetlight version every day of the week now.

Checking the Thom Yorke alert would also be prudent.  “Just” originally appearing on The Bends surfaces as track three.  Certainly miming Radiohead is dangerous enough, as the cover is worthy of cringing responses from anyone familiar with the British outfit.

Volume I, much like most Streetlight outputs, is pumped full with enthusiastic brass that often deserves to gush out of speakers at a high volume.  Getting off to a good start is important for such a project as 99 Songs of Revolution to ensure subsequent patrons will listen.  Thankfully the band has done just enough to inspire some semblance of promise and anticipation on the forthcoming albums.   Half the intrigue will be the pondering and speculation on which songs are to be covered next.

Track List:
1. Birds Flying Away (originally by Mason Jennings)
2. Hell (originally by Squirrel Nut Zippers)
3. Just (originally by Radiohead)
4. Skyscraper (originally by Bad Religion)
5. Punk Rock Girl (originally by The Dead Milkmen)
6. Linoleum (originally by NOFX)
7. Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard (originally by Paul Simon)
8. They Provide the Paint for the Picture-Perfect Masterpiece That You Will Paint On the Insides of Your Eyelids (originally by Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution)
9. Red Rubber Ball (originally by Paul Simon)
10. The Troubador (originally by Louis Jordan)
11. Such Great Heights (originally by The Postal Service)

Streetlight Manifesto - 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume I , reviewed by Baer on 2010-05-04T12:10:39-07:00 rating 3.2 out of 5

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