the Gadjits - "Wish We Never Met"
Hellcat Records

The pop edge from the Gadjits’ last CD is gone out the window. After the intro track (a horribly funny diatribe from a definite non-fan (about a show I saw) that was left on their answering machine), the first song starts out with a riff from "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly." After that, the listener gets to hear the raw, soul feel that the Gadjits have adopted. The soul was hinted at on At Ease, but here it takes full force.

Wish We Never Met has elements of ska, but for the most part this album can mostly be considered a souled-out mod album that you can skank to. The loss of the over-production from At Ease that made that album way too poppy is a great boon on this release. While there is still a lot of catchiness on this release in the form of some great sing-along choruses (the final track is an especially great example), some of the songs require a bit of play before you work into the melody.

The disc has a few songs like "Cowboys Always Win" and "Cleveland Ohio" that require several listens to really get used to. However, if anything, this makes the disc that much more worthwhile to own, because you appreciate it that much more when you’re done.

However, the song structure has many more change-ups and tempo switches than before, and the vocals have a more mature feel to them (especially on Hillary Allen’s backing vocals, which have much improved since I saw them last live). This album represents a good step forward for the Gadjits into the realm of better musicians. It may not satisfy the fans who want the sound of "Gangster Girl," but for the listener who likes their music with a taste of change, Wish We Never Met is well worth owning.