Against All Authority/The Criminals - Exchange (Cover Artwork)

Against All Authority / The Criminals

Exchange (2000)

Sub City

After a comment I posted in a thread pertaining to The Frisk, I made a comment expressing my dislike for The Criminals, in which former Criminals/current Frisk singer Jesse Luscious replied. He made an excellent point in that it makes for a much more interesting read if someone actually explains their dislike for a particular band, instead of stating, "This band sucks, and so does your mom!" or some other nonsense like that. Anywho, so that was my inspiration for writing the following review.

Starting the split off is Against All Authority. They absolutely shred through three original songs and a cover of The Criminals' "I Want to Stab You With Something Rusty". It is evident that the three originals, "The Bottle's Lookin' Better", "WWYD?", and "Wet Foot Policy" are weening away from the band's earlier, heavy ska influences, with horns used sparingly on "The Bottle's Lookin' Better", and at the beginning of "Wet Foot Policy". These songs are definitely in the same vein as their latest full-length effort, "24 Hour Roadside Resistance", musically. "WWYD?" and "Wet Foot Policy" are the politically charged songs, dealing with views on religion and US citizenship, while "The Bottle's Lookin' Better" describes a personal account of life on the road. My favorite song off of the split would actually have to be the cover of "I Want to Stab You With Something Rusty". Having never heard the original, I can't really compare it musically. However, lyrically, the song is incredible and hearing Danny Lore screaming, "I want to stab you with something rusty. I want to stab you dead!" sends chills down my spine with each and every listen.

The Criminals offer two original songs, "Five Years On" and "Down and Out", and a cover of Against All Authority's "All Fall Down". Unfortunately, I cannot speak for the album lyrically seeing as how I do not have the album case with me at University of College, so their portion of the review will be a bit lacking and I apologize. Musically, the band isn't terribly outstanding, with the exception being the bassist, who writes some incredibly catchy bass lines. Their efforts at "All Fall Down" pale in comparison to the original, with no real energy being exerted by the band in terms of the overall sound and feel. What really turns me off from their half of the split are the vocals. Jesse's vocals sound completely uninspired and, for lack of a better term, safe. I, personally, have a difficult time listening to a band in which the vocalist sounds like he/she is being forced into singing, like there is no conviction behind it.

The split is worth buying for the Against All Authority songs and for the needle exchange program in which both bands and Sub City decided to give a portion of all proceeds to. If The Criminals are your cup of tea, more power to you, but if you're looking for something to completely blow you away, don't look towards their offerings.