Wednesday, February 27, 2013

ALL: [2000] Problematic

Can a band make the same album a dozen times and still be great? One wouldn't think so if one had never heard All or its predecessor and alter ego, the Descendents. Yet it doesn't matter. Not a lick. Problematic, like 1998's Mass Nerder, and the Descendents' 1996 comeback, Everything Sucks, is superb. Imagine your favorite meal in your favorite restaurant, year after year, and it's like this band's repeatable, steady formula. With each successive repetition, All seems to get even better. Chad Price, the third of the band's singers, proves again he's the best of the lot, with a real edge to match a sincerity not far removed from his incredible Descendents counterpart, Milo Aukerman. And the two deliberately stupid tracks like "She Broke My Dick" and "I Want Out" aside (a feature since 1981's "I Like Food"), each song chugs with urgency and supreme melody, and benefits from a band where all four members write, and write so effectively. As well, with their own Blasting Room studio in Fort Collins, CO, All's "blasting" sound just seems to become clearer as it cranks. Moreover, few bands express primal relationship angst better. The terrific "Carry You," "Teresa," and "www.sara" are the spiked soul-searchers one still delights in, that mix of heartburn and power guitars that the Buzzcocks all but trademarked circa 1977. 

trACKs: CARRY YOU / SHE BROKE MY DICK / BETTER THAN THAT / WWW SARA / ROIR / WHAT ARE YOU FOR / STUPID KIND OF LOVE / ALIVE / REAL PEOPLE / LOCK 'EM AWAY / TERESA / I WANT OUT / CRUCIFICTION / THE SKIN / NOTHIN' TO LIVE FOR / NEVER TOOK / MAKE BELIEVE / DRIVE AWAY.

home-page: http://www.myspace.com/all

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