We Are The Union’s newest release Great Leaps Forward makes me want to dance. Well, maybe “dance” isn’t the right word. Great Leaps Forward makes me want to lace up my docs and launch myself off of an anonymous shoulder into a sea of people while pumping my fist in the air. Their second full-length release and their first full-length on Paper + Plastik Records, Great Leaps Forward definitely makes good on the band’s goal of changing the direction of modern ska music. The album combines the break-neck pace and attitude of Less than Jake‘s Pezcore with the melodies, social consciousness and progressive ska sounds of RX Bandits’ Progress to create one of the best ska-punk albums in recent memory.
“I can’t stop this freight train feeling” shouts the band on the third track “Rearranging Deck Chairs On The Titanic.” Indeed, Great Leaps Forward hits with all the force of a freight train and doesn’t let up for 14 tracks.
The music is intense, fast and loud with 10 of the album’s 14 tracks clocking in at under 3 minutes. The lyrics are insightful and uplifting, focusing on living your life to the fullest and keeping an open mind. Standout tracks include “What We Have Here, Is A Failure To Communicate,” “Glaring Teeth,” “Start Over Start Over” and album closer “Be Kind, Rewind,” which implores listeners “Don’t waste your last breath/ To ask for redemption/ Forgive yourself/ Reinvent salvation.” The album also features “Rearranging Deck Chairs On The Titanic,” “We Don’t Care If Yesterday Burns, Stoke Up The Fire,” and “Five Out Of Five Kids Who Kill Love Slayer” from the band’s Spring 2009 Paper + Plastik debut The Gun Show Must Go On EP.
If you’re looking for a ska-punk album to make you think and make you move, you can’t do much better than We Are The Union’s Great Leaps Forward.