ALL - Allroy Saves (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Allroy Saves (1990)


For a lot of people, All vs. Descendents comes down to which lead singer they prefer. I’ll take Milo Auckerman over any of All’s singer. Although if forced to choose, I’d have to say Chad Price was my favorite singer. That being said, this is my favorite album All put out. I don’t know if that’s based purely in the quality of the songwriting or because it was the first album I ever heard by All.

The thing that stuck me the first time I heard this album, close to twenty years ago at this point, was the lyrics were clever. At that point, my favorite bands were Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits, and the like. Don’t get me wrong, they were all great band but tongue in cheek was something Minor Threat was not. This was different though, they kept the same regular guy feel of Descendents in their lyrics. But, they managed to expand a bit topically. “Just like Them”, “Prison”, and “Educated Idiot” weren’t approaching Crass levels in the way they looked at world. But, when it’s 1999 and Blink-182 is what your peers consider punk … they were a welcome compromise. It didn’t hurt that the band was also able to write humorous songs, like “Freaky”, either.

Musically, much like the band that spawned them, All were punk rockers that had a strong respect for song structure. You’d never find them forcing a hook or trying to write a pop song. They just understood how to put a song together. And after playing together, in one band or another, for over a decade when this came out they also understood each other as musicians. While not as fully realized as its predecessor, Allroy’s Revenge, this was absolutely a solid release at the time it came out.

While everything about this release is good, I don’t know if one can call it influential. For most people who love the band, Allroy’s Revenge is their go to. For casual fans, Mass Nerder is likely where they started after hear “World’s On Heroin” on Punk-O-Rama III. I hate to use the comparison, because All is an amazing band and don’t get the credit they deserve, but they are a lot like punk rock’s step dad. People enjoyed the band and continue you to, but you always got the feeling that no matter who was singing vocals there were Descendents fans sitting around going, “You’re not our real lead singer!” Which is a shame, because All is a great band. They deserve more credit than they get for the influence they’ve had on the punk rock scene. They just had the misfortune of arriving on the scene a little too early for the first pop/punk bubble and being just a little too old to be MTV darlings during the second one. I’ll say it, All got the short end of the pop/punk stick. And albums like this one are evidence of it.