Mad Caddies are a massively underappreciated band in a massively underappreciated genre. Their albums each take the basic framework of ska and explode it in entirely new directions, from Rock the Plank’s punk-infused sea shanties to Just One More’s delirious mix of ska, punk, reggae, polka, New Orleans jazz, and Latin music. In fact, the latter is easily among my personal favorite ska-punk albums, alongside Catch 22’s Keasbey Nights, Less Than Jake’s Anthem, and The Specials’ self-titled debut.
Still, I always had a nagging feeling that Just One More could have been even better. For starters, “Wet Dog” isn’t on the same level as the rest of the album, coming off as a B-side tacked on to what feels like the true album-closer, “Good Intentions.” The sequencing also does no favors for “Game Show,” which feels even more diminished following “Wet Dog,” and “Contraband,” a hardcore-punk freak-out that crashes in after the solemn album-opener “Drinking for 11.” The record also seems to have a story it wants to tell about addiction and the road to recovery, but it’s difficult to grab hold of the thread.
And so, I humbly put forth my alternate track listing for Just One More, which you can listen to via the Spotify playlist below. In addition to removing “Wet Dog” and rearranging the sequence to give tracks like “Contraband” and “Game Show” their due, I tried to shape the album around the perceived addiction narrative mentioned above. “Drinking for 11” sets the scene, kicking off the story in medias res with the protagonist reminiscing about a lost love that has driven him to drink. We then flash back to the start, as the main character leaves home, starts a band, and falls in with a local scene that slowly becomes toxic. Seeking an escape, he takes his band on the road, which leads to a more intense loneliness, harder drugs, and a spiral that he barely manages to pull himself out of. Ultimately, he embarks on a path of recovery with his memories now serving as fuel toward “walking the line.”
Hopefully, this re-imagining will give Mad Caddies fans a reason to re-listen to this album with fresh ears. And if it helps to convert a few newbies, even better. Enjoy!
Spotify Link – http://spoti.fi/2qoKKhn
- Drinking for 11
- Game Show
- Just One More
- Day by Day
- 10 West
- Last Breath
- Spare Change?
- Good Intentions