Good morning, reader. Johnny Minardi of Fueled By Ramen is an extremely hardworking and kind human. He started his own label (LLR Recordings) at eighteen-years-old, and later worked his way up to A&R at Fueled By Ramen, which at that point had grown into a huge success for “the scene”. After that FBR position, he had a two-year run at Equal Vision Records as A&R. In 2017, Johnny became the Senior Director of A&R at Fueled By Ramen/Roadrunner Records/Elektra Music Group.  In addition, and most importantly, he is a loving father, husband, and music (ESPECIALLY NU-METAL) fan. We spent some time together dissecting and proclaiming our constant allegiance to one of the best non nu-metal bands ever: Less Than Jake. We hope that you don’t think any less of us after reading this 100% subjective list.

Burn it to the ground:

  1. See The Light (2013)

JM: I saw Blink-182 at the Forum last night.

SW: Same! Blink-182 toured with Less Than Jake back in the day.

JM: Just as a disclaimer: I’ve always dreaded doing lists like this.

SW: Not same!

JM: See The Light is a great LTJ record.

SW: EVERY LTJ record is a great LTJ record.

JM: “Good Enough” is my jam.

SW: It definitely was.

JM: Good.

SW: Enough.

JM: Ok! Off to the liquor store…

  1. In With The Out Crowd (2006)

JM: Speaking of alcohol, this album is LTJ’s last major label release.


JM: All the things that I say will someday fade away, but the message in these songs has kept me sane all along.

SW: Sane all along.

JM: What a song.

SW: That rhymed. P.S. Shock The World.

JM: Off to Florida!

  1. GNV FLA (2008)

SW: Didn’t you live in Florida for a while?

JM: Yes I did, and this record reminds me A LOT of that time period.

SW: I’m sorry? (pauses) Devil in my DNA.

JM: This one’s going to leave a bruise (pauses) Anyway, the art on this album is so dope. On an even doper (or “Dopeman” note), I believe that Less Than Jake may have among the first bands to leave a major and start its own label.

SW: Abandon ship.

JM: Does the lion city still roar?

  1. Pezcore (1995)

SW: You’re gonna hear me roar!

JM: Roar rhymes with Pezcore!

SW: Soar!

JM: Sore.

SW: Score. (pauses) I started listening to Less Than Jake shortly after this album came out.

JM: The songs on this record are STILL staples in LTJ’s live set.

SW: You’ve been “in bed” with this band for quite some time.

JM: Indeed. It’s quite hard to rank this album as only number five on this list, but I fucking love it.

SW: Five alive. It still rocks.

JM: (nods)

SW: Do you have any cool stories on why the band named a song after you?

JM: Johnny Minardi did NOT sell out at twelve.

  1. Borders & Boundaries (2000)

SW: Sell out with me, oh yea.

JM: Wrong band.

SW: Sorry.

JM: It’s cool.

SW: Not sorry.

JM: ANYWAY: Fat. Wreck. Chords.

SW: Look. What. Happened.

JM: Incredible songs. Incredible record. Incredible. Here’s a track that should have been bigger: “Malt Liquor Tastes Better When You’ve Got Problems.”

SW: I agree. Also, “Magnetic North” is such an incredible opener. THAT. BASS. TONE.

JM: Roger Lima’s bass playing is beyond unbelievable. Sometimes his bass lines are the standout hooks of LTJ songs. It’s unique and I love it.

SW: Girl, same. This is the anthem, throw all your hands up.

  1. Anthem (2003)

JM: Wrong band again.

SW: Sorry again.

JM: It’s cool again.

SW: Not sorry again.

JM: ANYWAY: LTJ took a lot of the right bands out on tour during this album’s cycle.

SW: Fall Out Boy. Punchline.

JM: August Premier. The Academy Is…

SW: FBR, bro.

JM: I like FBR.

SW: Girl, same. Like its follow up (#7 on this list), this album doesn’t get enough love.

JM: This record came out at a time that I was uprooting and moving across the country to work at Fueled By Ramen. It was a pivotal time for me and I have fond memories of this album’s release.

  1. Losing Streak (1996)

SW: Losing.

JM: Streak.

SW: It’s fitting that this album “lost” to…

  1. Hello Rockview (1998)

JM: Hello Rockview.

SW: HELLO, Rockview.

JM: Real talk: Less Than Jake is the best band I’ve ever heard with vocal melodies. Until I heard this record, I never heard two lead vocalists crush it in the singing department and do what this band did.

SW: I do not disagree. I ranked this album as my number two ska-punk record for Substream weeks ago: It certainly helped save the youth of America from exploding.

JM: Thank you, Less Than Jake. That was brutal to rank. One of my favorite catalogs ever.

Now for the even more brutal playlist featuring one track from each record:

That’s all we have to say about that. Thanks for reading and please celebrate weekends all year long.