Saturday, April 2, 2011

ALL - Allroy for Prez...

I think I've mentioned before that I'm a big Descendents fan. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I have.

Anyway, this post is not about the Descendents. This is about the post-Milo band, ALL. To sum them up briefly,  ALL is the 1987 line up of the Descendents with a different singer. ALL (the band) continued to move in the same direction that ALL (the Descendents album) was heading toward musically. ALL is also not nearly as recognized as the Descendents, which is rather unfortunate.

I am guilty of preferring the Descendents to ALL. That said, there are a lot of ALL songs that I like, they're just spread out through their albums and sometimes even have different singers on them (ALL has had a total of three singers). I think the different vocalists sometimes plays into why they aren't as recognized; it's harder to get a feel for their sound. That's a little unfair and biased toward vocals in terms of what really makes a band's sound unique, but that happens to bands all the time. Each member gets equal opportunity in song contribution, from what I know, so the vocalist thing shouldn't matter too much, but I still think it plays a big roll.

Anywho, one of ALL's earliest works is their Allroy for Prez... EP. It was their second release and final studio output with their first singer Dave Smalley. I think it serves as a good introduction to what the band's earlier works sound like because both Dave and second singer, Scott Reynolds, were softer in their delivery than Chad Price (side note: apparently both Scott and Chad are currently lead singers, just not playing the same shows together). Not that Chad's vocals are "harsh" per se, but he's got a much different sound than the first two singers.

That said, this EP has all the basics for what nearly every ALL album features: short songs that are 2-3 minutes in length, lyrics cover common subjects like love (or the lack of it) and intricate instrumental work throughout. My absolute favorite ALL song is featured as the opening track: a re-recording of Just Perfect from the band's debut, Allroy Sez. Other standouts include the melodic Wishing Well and the bittersweet Skin Deep. There's also the latter day Black Flag-esque instrumental Son-O-Qua.

I do not think this is the "definitive" ALL release, but I do think that it is an important piece of their history and anyone interested in becoming more familiar with ALL's work should check this one out.

01. Just Perfect
02. Skin Deep
03. Wrong Again
04. I Hate to Love
05. Wishing Well
06. Son-O-Qua
07. Postage
08. Daveage

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