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July 23, 2024

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The Adjustments
"A Little To The Left" (Stiff Dog Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Featuring former members of Janitors Against Apartheid, The Adjustments serve up third-wave ska mixed in with a lot of punk rock and a wee bit of pop. On this four song EP they prepare the listener for their full-length, giving them a sample of their ska-punk style."Alice" kicks everything off. Right from the beginning they dive into the goods, not wasting any time and cutting straight to the ska-punk mayhem that they are all about. But unlike "Alice," the other two Adjustments originals "Spinning My Wheels" and "Forward Progress" both start very mellow, before diving into the inevitable chaos they will soon cause. But the stand-out track on this album has got to be "The Boise Summer," a Don Henley cover song. It starts out with a light guitar, setting the pace for a melodic, yet powerful number. The bass soon taps its way in, while the drums softly beat in the background. The vocals softly come in, and then everything picks up as the guitar turns on the distortion. Cutting back to the light pace of the song, it jumps from soft and light to distorted and edgy. This combination works well on this number, and was the reason I started to pay attention to this disc rather than allowing it to become just more background noise. But that's not to say the other three numbers aren't any good, because they are.

This EP is a nice introduction to the band. Although the material isn't stunning or original, it is decent enough to get you moving and has power to it, which really helps give the music the extra kick it needs to get the listener into the music. The one back draw to something like this is you'll listen to these four songs a few too many times, how ever many times that may be, and then you'll put it away and forget about it. Although that may happen with this EP, they at least leave you with enough reason to want to check out a full-length from them. I'll give this CD a B-.

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