Pop Punk
Catalog #: 


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. And All's sense of angry humor shows itself again in "ROIR," an irate rant at the offspring of the rich and famous: "I got class resentment/I ain't got sh*t/You got a trust fund/I got minimum wage." Unlike the bands that parrot them, All speaks universal language, not just one of an insular, myopic punk scene. Most of all, the sledgehammer hooks set them apart. That these have proved in no short supply for 21 years, since the 1979 "Ride the Wild" debut single, is amazing. Problematic? Hell no. All are as much of sure thing as snow in Alaska. There should be another dozen LPs just like this one coming through 2020, and hurrah to that.

[Rabid, Jack.]