Like all of their efforts, All Day sounds as if it was recorded in someone’s basement, a quality that only seems to enhance ska music. It’s like you are at a jam session and someone just happened to turn on a microphone.
The opening track, “Change My Ways,” is the most Motown inspired and I like it a great deal. The 30 second intro of horns is completely hummable and Stephen Jackson’s vocals are as good as they have ever been.
I was excited to see a song called “Triflin,” as it sounded like the kind of title that could indicate a brash romp that only The Pietasters can do so well. Sadly, it is more reggae than ska and completely 100% forgettable.
And unfortunately, that is the theme of this album – forgettable, which is shocking for a band that has created some of the most memorable songs I have ever loved. There is no “Dollar Bill,” no “Night Owl,” and most certainly no “Maggie Mae.”
But amongst the humdrum, there are a couple of gems. “Fozzy (Part 1)” has some perfectly offbeat keyboard refrains and Jorge Pezzimenti’s bass is at its head-bopping best.
I also really love “Oolooloo” (which fans will recognize as the title of an earlier album). Starting off with “Another round for the good time/we all have had,” it is an irreverent anthem that will be a blast to sing along with and is probably the best song here. And make sure you catch Alan Makranczy’s saxophone as the song fades out. It is masterful.
While not my favorite type of Pietasters music, they are still a very talented group. Their recordings have never done justice to the genius of their music, and their live shows are not to be missed. While I missed the show in my area due to unexpected company, here’s hoping that All Day will benefit from the soul and passion these guys exhibit on stage.