This album changed everything for me. I first heard this when I started listening to punk, which I thought meant Offspring and Bad Religion. Tom Kalnoky is the best lyricist since Bob Dylan and the band plays with an energy and an air of experience that belies how young the band was when they recorded this. This album is tied with Everything Goes Numb for greatest ska album of all time.
This is so, so close to being a 5. It sounds like pure energy being unleashed over various musical instruments and it's as catchy as anything, but as a songwriter Kalnoky just wasn't quite there yet; the lyrics are intelligent, needless to say, but occasionally trite, sometimes overwrought, and only rarely as vivid and emotive as Kalnoky's later work; meanwhile, the horns lack the majesty so characteristic of Streetlight. There's no denying the album's excellence, especially when you stop comparing it to Streetlight, but it just doesn't hold together quite well enough to be a 5.