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Impossibles - Anthology (Cover Artwork)

Impossibles

Impossibles: AnthologyAnthology (1999)
Fueled By Ramen Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
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I remember there was a time when I drove all night behind the wheel of our tour van. I just had gotten the mixes to THE IMPOSSIBLES' first record and I thought it was amazing. I fell in love with it, I listened to it for hours and hours, over and over on the drive. Words couldn't and still can't des.
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I remember there was a time when I drove all night behind the wheel of our tour van. I just had gotten the mixes to THE IMPOSSIBLES' first record and I thought it was amazing. I fell in love with it, I listened to it for hours and hours, over and over on the drive. Words couldn't and still can't describe how excited I was to have a chance at releasing that record.
- Vinnie Fiorello, drummer for Less than Jake, co-founder of Fueled by Ramen Records

There aren't many records that I've listened to enough to where I could give an informed review without actually listening to the music while writing. There's the Clash's London Calling, probably Minor Threat's Discography, and maybe Rancid's Life Won't Wait, though I'd have to look at the insert booklet to see who all the guest musicians were on that one. Yet here I am, sitting at my desk at work, able to play every single one of the 20 (or 22 on some releases) songs of the Impossibles' Anthology through in my head.

The first few words of the record, "Hi, we're the Impossibles from Austin, Texas!" offers a small piece of information that leads to more. The Impossibles were heavily influenced by fellow Southern punk band Avail, and as luck would have it, opening for Avail proved to be a major stepping stone in gaining recognition in the punk scene. From a purely sonic perspective, I can more easily hear a similarity to Weezer (in ska-punk form), though since Weezer's Blue Album didn't come out until May of 1994, it's hard to believe the influence was there at that time, though the same urgent feeling of onsettting tragedy that Weezer would eventually make famous underlies most of the Impossibles' songs.

The band's seminal fan favorite "Eightball" starts off the record, with a crushing pre-verse that leads into a whimsical semi-ska verse that demonstrates the band's strong and witty lyrics: "It is, without a doubt, hard to figure out this magic ball / What gives it its mojo powers, and makes it so mystical? / Is it the faith of over a million kids who find it believable? Or is it a bunch of four-sided dice trapped in a black plastic ball?!"

The second track, "Widowmaker," appears twice on the album in two different forms, and like "Eightball," provides the framework for much of the Impossibles' song structure: third wave ska or ska-punk verses with heavily distorted choruses and plenty of hooks to boot. Since there's not enough space to describe each one of the classics, I'll highlight some of my favorite lines from their stellar lyrics.
  • "Back for the Attack": "Problems surfaced and they capsized our relationship / I now propose this expedition to salvage it / The weather may start getting rough / Our tiny ship may be tossed / I'll not be stopped by acts of God, I'll get you back at any cost!"
  • "Leave No Man Behind": "Every once in awhile I get tangled up on my loose ends / And I strangle myself on promises made to old friends. / Just once he'd like to take one step forward, not two steps back / Like the drops in the bucket balanced on his back / The little things add up so fast."
  • "Something Fierce": "It's never cold enough / My Rubik's Cube is never solved...unless taken apart / I'm hung from the highest tree / The birds won't nest with me / As the slingshots take aim / The bull's eye is on my frame."
  • "Fatboy": "In elementary I was the lowest class / A bitter little kid good at science and math / Well, I never had a problem making other kids laugh / When they'd steal my lunch or kick me in the ass."
"Fatboy," along with "Everyday" are two of the catchiest songs on the record that also feature the horn playing of guitarist and singer Rory Phillips. Phillips and guitarist Gabe Hascall also often exchange vocal duties like in the emo-tinged "Descriptive Essay, 100 Words." Even the cutest of songs like "Francis," an ode to a teddy bear, is laced with restlessness and unease.

The Impossibles, while still teenagers barely old enough to drive, created a set of masterpieces that most musicians today strive for, but few achieve. The band's raw and bare emotion is cleverly leaked through witty and thoughtful lyrics and perfectly suiting music that toggles between light, fluffy ska to spine-jarring anthems. Along with Minor Threat, Operation Ivy, and the Germs, this is one "Anthology" that no music fan should be without.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Against Me! - As The Eternal CowboyRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesBomb the Music Industry! - Goodbye Cool World!The Suicide Machines - Destruction By DefinitionWeezer - WeezerAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitOperation Ivy - Operation IvyMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteBomb the Music Industry! - To Leave or Die in Long Island

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
fatpunkguy (June 18, 2010)

I really wish these guys would get back together. I understand the reasons Rory gives on their DVD for why they broke up the second time, but they were so good together and this is when they were so young and probably hadn't tapped into their full potential. Also they really are totally mediocre on their own. Loved these guys, "wish with all my might" that they would reunite.

likeaparasite (November 22, 2008)

I'm glad someone reviewed this. I considered reviewing it, but I didn't think I could do it justice. Fortunately, the person who did end up reviewing it certainly has. This is my favourite album of all time. I agree that it should be listened to from start to finish. It never falters and maintains raw sonic power and heart-wrenchingly awesome vocals and lyrics for its entire duration. I'm also someone who loved it in high school for sentimental reasons.

likeaparasite (November 22, 2008)

I'm glad this has been reviewed. I considered reviewing it, but I didn't think I could do it justice, and the guy who did end up reviewing it certainly has. This is my favourite album of all time. I agree that it's something that should be listened to from start to finish. It never falters and maintains raw sonic power as well as heart-wrenching lyrical/vocal greatness for its entire duration. I'm also someone who loved it in high school for sentimental reasons.

benz (May 21, 2007)

love the impossibles. this review is long overdue.

Scruffy (May 21, 2007)

The best song on this album is Plan B. Such a freaking awesome song.

SilentStorms (May 21, 2007)

Freaking loved this cd! Suicide Machines say whaaaaaat?!?!?!?!

Old Dave Man Gloom Norman

SilentStorms (May 21, 2007)

Freaking loved this cd! Suicide Machines say whaaaaaat?!?!?!?!

Old Dave Man Gloom Norman

Hey_Asshole (May 21, 2007)

i love ska, but i think Impossibles were better when they stopped playing it.

that being said, this is still a great record.

Anonymous (May 20, 2007)

Fantasic CD, period.

GlassPipeMurder (May 19, 2007)

Avail? Really?

I know I've read it in several places, but here's one example:
http://www.fueledbyramen.com/releases/index.php?id=023

drunken3rd (May 19, 2007)

Avail? Really? I've listened to the impossiibles A LOT and AVAIL is definatly in my top 5. But to compare the two? Is very interesting... They were always "Weezer playing Ska" to me, which was the greatest thing ever when I was in 10th grade.

Great CD regardless

drunken3rd (May 19, 2007)

Avail? Really? I've listened to the impossiibles A LOT and is definatly in my top 5. But to compare the two? Is very interesting... They were always "Weezer playing Ska" to me, which was the greatest thing ever when I was in 10th grade.

Great CD regardless

Anonymous (May 19, 2007)

This is good, but what happened after was even better, ie the impossibles the second time around, the stereo, and especially slowereader. rory and the artifical heart aren't nearly as good though.

ibitchslappedyourmama (May 19, 2007)

excellent band...I need a copy of the DVD but at least its on youtube.

fattony (May 19, 2007)

Great album. I didn't care for Return so much. Their DVD's solid though.

Anonymous (May 18, 2007)

I hope they burn in hell for that At the Drive-In cover they did.

Anonymous (May 18, 2007)

The last review of the week has been nothing but hits recently. I like it.

leecorsoisapenis (May 18, 2007)

"i loved them when they ditched the ska and focused on the weezer."

You can't forget the Elliott Smith. Some of the vocals sound like they were stolen out of Smith's mouth. They did it well though. When I heard Jaime from Animal Chin and Rory from the Impossibles were doing a band I almost flipped. The Stereo were no match for their former awesomeness though.

Jim

Anonymous (May 18, 2007)

i liked the last album better than anything that was on this. think i prefered animal chin to these guys though

elephantdwarf (May 18, 2007)

i loved them when they ditched the ska and focused on the weezer.

Anonymous (May 18, 2007)

amazing band.

-mybulldogfront

pinkerton (May 18, 2007)

i got this used a couple years ago. if you own any comps with songs by the band, you probably have the good songs already.

video_cognito (May 18, 2007)

Also, one of my favorite series of Impossibles lines:

The good news is that I finally learned to appreciate my friends. The bad news is that I haven't got any left. The good news is that I dream about it almost every night. The bad news is that when I wake up you're not there.

Simon's also a very touching song.

video_cognito (May 18, 2007)

The Impossibles were one of my favorite bands during the second half of my high school experience. Descrptive Essay, 100 Words was a very emotional song for me and my girlfriend at the time, for a number of reasons. This CD's one of those CD's I feel that everybody should at least give a full listen to.

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