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At All Costs - Direction (Cover Artwork)

At All Costs

At All Costs: DirectionDirection (2006)
Our Pride

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Don't like Set Your Goals? Me neither. Don't like ska? Me neither. Then you can imagine my disappointment upon the realization that At All Costs' Direction is literally nothing more than an amalgamut of pop-punk, hardcore, and ska. The former two genres are two of my favorite, and even t.
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Don't like Set Your Goals?

Me neither.

Don't like ska?

Me neither.

Then you can imagine my disappointment upon the realization that At All Costs' Direction is literally nothing more than an amalgamut of pop-punk, hardcore, and ska. The former two genres are two of my favorite, and even the latter is decent when played correctly, but the mix of all three is probably the worst idea anybody has had since O.J. Simpson's now-canned "If I Did It."

I can't knock their enthusiasm -- and there's certainly plenty of it, but the mix of styles the band is throwing together are styles that were not made to be thrust into that sort of position. "Count on Me" is a perfect example of a band that can't stick to one idea. In no more than 15 seconds' time, they alternate between some pop-punk melodies, hardcore gang vocals, and ska horns without any real semblence of continuity. Even alternating between a ska song, a hardcore song, and a pop-punk song would allow them to establish a rhythm, some sort of ebb and flow that would keep the record from becoming a bogged-down mess.

Simplicity. Simplicity would have been the road to travel here. It's not even that there's a lot happening in the music to keep track of, but the fact that the styles don't meld. The furious gang vocals performed on "Push Ahead" are starkly contrasted by the ska horns, horns which call to mind an upbeat, positive feeling. It's not feasible to have such polar opposites in the same song at the exact same time and still have people believe that the supposed emotion and feeling is genuine. You cannot mix the rage of hardcore with the generally sunny disposition of ska and pop-punk and expect people to take you seriously. I'm sorry, it's not going to happen.

And hopefully, it never will.

 

 
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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.
literamaniac (July 12, 2010)

I'd at least give this a 3, your review gave a completely misleading description of the album. I was expecting something more along the lines of The Best of the Worst (who do in fact play melodic hardcore-influenced pop-punk with breakdowns and ska parts). This did not have any ska whatsoever. Or pop-punk. This was just your typical (but solid) New England hardcore record, with the addition of a brass section. It almost makes me think you didn't even listen to this record, which is disappointing because I usually like your reviews.

literamaniac (July 12, 2010)

The only fortunate aspect of this review is that I do in fact enjoy Set Your Goals and some ska, therefore this record intrigues me

zombie-guru (March 14, 2008)

How can you listen to this and call it pop punk or ska influenced? Score is for the review.

Anonymous (July 13, 2007)

Ska!? I wouldn't say it's ska at all. I would say that it's just oldschool hardcore with horns. I don't even hear the pop-punk reference anywhere in this album, and I would admit it were it there.

It's an awesome album despite this review. It's too bad they're done.

Anonymous (July 12, 2007)

This review sucks. This is actually an awesome record. and for all the internet shit talkers...at their last show there was 500 fucking kids. so kick rocks.

Anonymous (July 12, 2007)

Fuck ska. Score is for ska.

moneenerd (July 11, 2007)

What in the hell is "diversity"?

defianceohioequalslove (July 11, 2007)

This is a fucking terrible review. You don't like ska, and you don't like SYG, so you wrote it off. Amazing.

"Currently rocking;

Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
R. Kelly - Double Up
The Chemical Brothers - We are the Night
Hammer Bros. - The Vitality
Rocky Votolato - Burning My Travels Clean"

Straight from Anchors user page. Sorry, but I can't take him seriously at all.

Annnndddddddddddd

""You cannot mix the rage of hardcore with the generally sunny disposition of ska"

Suicide Machines?

Against All Authority?"

Hit the nail on the head perfectly.

Anonymous (July 11, 2007)

God forbid you try to do more than one thing with your band. ITS AGAINST ZE R00LS!

Seriously, its impossible to take reviews on this site seriously, theyre all either fanboy gushing or vindictive diatribes based on personal biases.

Anonymous (July 11, 2007)

"Why would anyone want to know anything about such a tired and shitty genre of music?"

Haha, "punk rock".

wallofyouth (July 11, 2007)

and THIS one is for the entirety of their battle hymns record

wallofyouth (July 11, 2007)

this score has been chosen for "capsule" by the suicide machines

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

Why would anyone want to know anything about such a tired and shitty genre of music?

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

Haha Anchors doesn't know anything about ska.

Anchors (July 10, 2007)

The third-wave ska, like the kind implemented by this band, has very little, if anything, to do with bands like The Skatalites, who were more akin to reggae than jazz anyhow.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

"comparing ska to Miles Davis has got to be the stupidest thing I have read in a while"

Comparing this band, or any of those horrible "ska-punk" bands to actual ska (which is actually pretty jazzy sometimes) is worse.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

this band broke up anyway. the news was posted on here yesterday.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

correction: Ctska.com got hold of your review

Anchors (July 10, 2007)

Looks like the At All Costs street team got wind of my review!

And comparing ska to Miles Davis has got to be the stupidest thing I have read in a while.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

Wait..............waaaaaait..................................... ....

....
...
....
...
Yes. Ska still sucks. Yes. Definitely.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

i hate ska so much. probably because of its "sunny disposition."

signed,

someone who likes to have others read his opinion.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

"You cannot mix the rage of hardcore with the generally sunny disposition of ska"

Suicide Machines?

Against All Authority?

alexdank (July 10, 2007)

how is this band ANYTHING like a pop-punk band? at all?

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

This is the worst review that I've ever read. Please head down to the local community college and take some writing classes or maybe some journalism classes.

As far as the content of the review, it is pretty sparse. More of an attack on the band. Also what are "Ska Horns"? You do know that Ska music is defined by the upbeat guitar riffs right? Not the fact that the music has horns. Does the Dave Matthews Band play Ska because they have horns? Is classical music Ska because it has horns? No, and At All Costs doesn't play ska.

Garty

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

Well in defence of the reviewer a ska horn section section do play a certain tone and style just like jazz horn players have a certain tone and style so I think your lambasting him about calling them ska horns and then comparing it to jazz is unfounded and if you are comparing this music to jazz by any means this good sir. it is not.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

Hahaha, ska horns!

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

Holy god damn that is the worst review I've ever read. It's good to know you'd probably write-off a Miles Davis album or something because all the "sunny pop ska horns" don't really fit the whole "cool jazz" style or somehting.

Anonymous (July 10, 2007)

I guess this is the same band that broke up.

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