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October 22, 2017


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The Adjustments
Everybody Must Get Cloned (Stiff Dog Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The Adjustments are a five-piece ska-punk band from Los Angeles. Formed out of the ashes of Janitors Against Apartheid, The Adjustments have the ability to switch between straight forward third-wave ska beats that are danceable to ska-punk with a heavy distorted upbeat. Either route they take, they're always pounding out something powerful and entertaining.

Starting off with "White Rhino," they show that this album is going to be something musically appealing. As the band plays a soft, melodic rhythm your body starts shaking with the beat. The guitar is clean and plays a nice upbeat that gets you dancing. The bass thumps along with the song, helping to keep a groove in the music. The drums tap in the background, giving you a meaty beat to eat. Backed with powerful horns, the intro is smooth and catchy. Ending with a blast of punk rock, the song shows it's not all light and has a bite to it. As for the lyrics, they sort of ruined the song for me. With lines like "butt now your white is mixed in with my brown, and now our feces is one with the ground," I found the song to be quite disgusting. Leaving the lyrics behind, "John Holmes" is a smooth, well-done instrumental. Tight horns, soft percussion, soothing keyboards, a fair amount of bass, and a guitar that leaves behind the distortion make this song a very relaxing number that can be enjoyed sitting down or standing up while you're skanking to the beat. To be perfectly honest, this has to be one of my favorite tracks on the CD, and is definitely an album stand out. "Cautious" starts out with a powerful bass shinning through a slow, danceable upbeat and a soft rhythm section. Keyboards are sprinkled in for flavor, and they do a good job of it. After staying at this pace for a minute, a pop hook is thrown in and they dive into a field of power pop before sliding right into some punk and back to more ska. Continuing at this pace, this song had me hooked. The most powerful, addictive song on this album, sometimes I would pop the disc in and start with this track. "Forward Progress" mixes in a bit of hardcore over the standard ska-punk foundation. Strong horn lines give this song a push, but the overall pace of the song is repetitive. The first few times it's a catchy song, but with each listen its power wears off. "O' Jagermeister" has the same problem, due in a large part to the chorus. The verses are strong and very powerful, but the chorus just can't live up to the expectations the verse leads up to, so the song suffers. Ending on a high note, "Revolution" is a nicely done instrumental that blends in a lot of ska and reggae influences, leaving the punk to a minimum.

These guys can write very powerful, infectious ska-punk numbers. This album has a lot of great songs on it. Sometimes, though, a song won't meet or exceed the energy of the previous song, which makes you want to skip to the next track to see if they can recapture the power you know they possess. And they do, giving you more great beats to dance and have fun with. I'll give this CD an B+.

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