Alli With An I - I Learned It By Watching You (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Alli With An I

I Learned It By Watching You (2003)

Law Of Inertia

Alli With An I formed in 2000 in Raleigh, NC and soon after recorded their first record "Long Story Short" that to their surprise received some good press, resulting in playing sold-out shows with many wellknown bands and a chance to record this album for Law Of Inertia with famed producer Brian Paulson (Beck, Avail, Soul Asylum, Superchunk, Wilco, …) Their music has also been featured on several internationally distributed BMX Videos.

There's more to this album then just the typical high riffy background guitar that made me remind of the original version of The Ataris' "Anywhere But Here". It also has this seemingly basic and unsophisticated recording quality, which makes for an honest sounding disc that really could please me. I know there's a certain degree of saturation in this scene for poppunk music, but this one really doesn't have that slick production and well-polished sound we all have been spoon-fed with recently. It's energetic yet accessible music, with a plethora of breaks and catchy refrains. Maybe EARLY Saves The Day or Get Up Kids sounded a bit like this, or you could say NUFAN had a big influence in the guitarriffs, but this sounds just a bit rougher than the aforementioned over-all.

Moreover, there's a vocalist that for once doesn't use the "high pitch" and actually has a voice that at least shows some signs of what heartfelt singing is all about without sounding like a school-prepared singer. It's not that I don't like clean vocals, but this just sounds really more genuine, although some of you might find it unstable singing I guess.

Songs I recommend are "Set In Stone", "Don't Look Down", "Merry Go Round" and "Two Sides". All are filled with that energy I hold so dear in this scene. No emo, yet straightforward melodic punches in the face, suitably mixed up with easier parts at times to build up for that next intense momentum. Hooks galore and guitars churn, I love this. Let's all hope they won't become the next prey for these genius producers and engineers who will try to "fix" how they sound right now when we're a couple years further.