All - Problematic
Problematic is a perfect title for the new All CD, because that's how I've
always viewed All. Don't get me wrong -- I love the Descendents -- but the
Descendents minus Milo has never really excited me. Even though Milo
didn't write most of the Descendents' songs, his voice was what made them,
All seem to have overcome this problem with their newest album. The only
thing I can think of is that this album follows in the slick melodic punk
that the Descendents last visited on 1997's "Everything
Sucks". "Problematic" sounds similar enough to "Everything Sucks" that I
rarely notice that it *isn't* Milo singing.
If you're not familiar with All, "Problematic" is a good place to
start. The Descendents/All's lyrics have never strayed far beyond girls
and dick jokes, but the former's songs show much lyrical maturity, and the
latter topic is kept to one mercifully short song. All also tackles rich
people, Christianity, and the media's perception of beauty among other
topics on this album. Musically, All certainly isn't breaking any new
ground, but they're not just treading on the ground they founded,
either. The members of All have been playing melodic punk for nearly 20
years, and it shows. These guys know what works in a punk songwriting
structure. You're going to get a perfectly mixed CD, where each instrument
takes the forefront when necessary, and where everything is equalized at
all other times. Chad Price's vocals are always audible, which is
something nice to hear on a punk album.
I still don't think that All will replace the Descendents in my heavy
rotation collection, but "Problematic" will be the first All album that
I've owned that is not headed directly for the used CD bin.
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