CD Review: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones “When God Was Great”

“When God Was Great”

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Hellcat Records

Producers: Ted Hutt/Tim Armstrong

Tracks: 15

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ska-punk pioneers The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are set to release their 11th studio record on May 7th. The album titled “When God Was Great” is being released via Hellcat Records and features 15 tracks Co-produced by longtime collaborator Ted Hutt and Rancid front-man Tim Armstrong. “When God Was Great” has the band bringing back friends, tour-mates, and bandmates from the past for a sonic celebration that stresses the power of perseverance and human connection during tumultuous times.

The patron saints of plaid are back and doing what they do best, bringing upbeat, relatable music to anyone willing to listen. Over the course of the fifteen tracks which make up “When God Was Great” listeners are treated to a wide musical landscape that blends almost seamlessly with the signature raspy delivery of vocalist Dicky Barret. Tracks like the catchy “I Don’t Believe In Anything”, “The Killing of Georgie (Part III) and “You Had To Be There” are classic Bosstones through and through as each song offers an upbeat feel with bright instrumentation and resonating lyricism which will surely align with issues many people are facing each and every day. As little more than midway through the album listeners are treated to a unique rendition of the John Fogerty song “Long As I Can See The Light”. The band does a great job of capturing the original versions soulfulness while at the same time breathing in a breath of freshness and style. Other tracks worth mentioning are “The Truth Hurts” which features the return of original guitarist Nate Albert who left band in 2000 and “The Final Parade” which features guest spots by Angelo Moore, Tim Timebomb, Aimee Interrupter among others as they take turns belting out verses for the albums closing number.

“When God Was Great” is a fitting follow up to the bands 2018 release “While We’re at It” as it follows the more mature sound of later Bosstones records featuring more laid-back traditional ska sounds as opposed to the distorted, punk driven sounds found on earlier records such as “Devil’s Night Out” and “Don’t Know How to Party”. Sure, it would have been nice to hear some of the sounds that first got me into the band however it is a completely different time and place. People change, bands change, musical tastes change. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have embraced these changes and because of this we are treated to albums like “When God Was Great” which will provide an enjoyable listening experience time and time again.   

Track List:

1.) Decide

2.) M O V E

3.) I Don’t Believe In Anything

4.) Certain Things

5.) Bruised

6.) Lonely Boy

7.) The Killing of Georgie (Part III)

8.) You Had to Be There

9.) When God Was Great

10.) What It Takes

11.) Long As I Can See the Light

12.) The Truth Hurts

13.) It Went Well

14.) I Don’t Want to Be You

15.) The Final Parade

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