Review Summary: Mustard Plug is back with more of the same. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but perhaps there could have been some more variation. Either way, this CD is still a good example of 3rd-wave ska.
Mustard Plug’s “In Black and White,”
released in 2007, is the epitome of 3rd wave ska. In fact, Mustard Plugs themselves are often hailed as the kings of 3rd wave ska, along with fellow 3rd wavers Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake. This latest release is more of the same Mustard Plug. It’s infectious, and will make you want to get up and dance, or at least you’ll find yourself bobbing your head and singing along to certain tracks.
All the songs seem to blend into each other, which in this case isn’t bad. It’s not that every song sounds similar, but instead each song blends into the next pretty well, creating a relatively seamless listening experience. There’s no song on this CD that will make you think “What is this doing here?” Catchy horn lines, driving bass, and the ever-present upstroke guitar lead you into a light-hearted foray in the world of ska.
Of course, there are also a few standout tracks to take note of. First is “Hit Me, Hit Me!”
track 3. Beginning simply with drums and guitar, the horns and s all build up to the great sing along chorus of “Hit me, hit me, hit me with sensation, I’ll hit it back with excitation. Hear my, hear my, hear my revelation, Hit the floor, feel the liberation.”
The next standout to me would be “On and On.”
The lyrics are pretty serious for Mustard plug fare, and lend themselves to a situation. Slightly cliché lyrics about an ending relationship, but the delivery of them is what makes it. The verse is simple with a driving bass line and easy upstroke guitars, leading into the chorus of “By now, you think it's over. Countdown, it's getting colder. Come on, tell me it's over. It goes on and on and on and on again.” The song only clocks in at 2:18, kind of leaving you wishing there was more, but for what it is, it’s a great song.
The third ear-catcher would be “Real Rat Bastard.”
The song has a nice swing to it, which adds to the sing along factor. The song is basically someone agreeing to the fact that he was, indeed, called a real rat bastard. Despite the fact that he was called a rat bastard by his love interest, he’d go to some lengths to try and get her back. Such as “To get you back, I’d walk at least a half a mile,” or “I’d slap the pope just for the chance to see your face.”
So while it may not be the most amazing CD, it’s nothing to be scoffed at. Mustard Plug has been holding it down for many a year now, and keep doing so.
Good guitar/bass work
If you don’t like one song, it’s likely you won’t like the rest.
Hit Me, Hit Me!
On and On
Real Rat Bastard