If All Else Fails - Do Not Forget to Be Angry (Cover Artwork)

If All Else Fails

Do Not Forget to Be Angry (2005)

Baseline Music Co.

People who stop being angry, start being complacent. There is little to be complacent about in our modern world. There is plenty that needs to be changed. There is plenty to be angry about, DO NOT FORGET.
--If All Else Fails, Biography

Do Not Forget to Be Angry by If All Else Fails is, quite simply, the best new album I've heard in a long time, let alone the fact that it's a debut LP. In short, it's an angry punk/grungy metal album, but don't let that description mislead you. The songwriting on this little plastic circle is creative, inspired, and diverse. One minute brings a Bad Religion-type melodic punk song, while another brings a Johnny Cash-type tune, or an unusually engaging acoustic track. More importantly, however, their lyrical content is just as creative as their songwriting.

With the first real track, we are presented with some pretty heavy, almost Graffin-esque words, the subject matter being the absurdity of religious radicalism; "Melody gave way to discord, no one thought it odd: murder for a God, murder for that one who would create…Hate begets an index fossil as we trample over soon forgotten lore, relegate them to the sepulchral page."

The next track, "Christian Vengeance (Exodus 12)," is, you guessed it, about Christian radicalism! The message is expressed with a poet's grace in this line: "your book asserts your right but your translations lie, prosecutor, hypocrite. Is it wrong? Is it right? (Man, it's warm inside the lie)."

While it should be clear that the lyrics are more than simple trite, "Christian Vengeance" is also the punk rocker you've all been waiting for. It starts off with an acoustic intro, breaks into full band for the first verse, and then transitions into a more hardcore double-time chorus. These guys are not holding back, and anyone frustrated by the trend of inoffensive, polished, whiny rock being passed off as "punk" these days, should listen to this one song. It may not be a 4/4 beat the whole way through, but it's the real deal.

The next song title, "Inside the Lie," references the quoted line from the previous track, beginning with a mixture of quotes from current politicians about national policy. It's another social song, and I'll assume the reference to "Christian Vengance" is a comment on how religion and politics are inching dangerously close these days. Again.

For the rest of the album the songs lean more towards the personal side, however. "Off Track" and "Who I Am" are songs that showcase the band's skill for dynamic songwriting. "Off Track" starts off with "The notes were fine, I swear to God, and from what I'd found, produced happy sounds at least pound for pound. But off paper they proved dissonant." This perfectly describes the sound of the actual song. It opens in a sort of Cuban jazz style, bongos and horns being part of the instrumentation, and keeps on swinging throughout. Musically, it's the most upbeat part of the album.

I could go through each track and try to describe the song of each, in an attempt to convey the dynamic songwriting contained in this album, but that would result in futility. Besides, an album can have a different style for each song, but if the songs themselves weren't creative, the album would still be boring. This is not the case for If All Else Fails. The best quality this group possesses is the ability to give structure to their songs with creative bridges, extended sections, and seamless flow between songs.

Overall, this is a rock solid release for a young band, and I just wanted to spread the word a little. It's got a few straightforward punk rockers, some more metal moments, some acoustic tracks that are anything but boring filler, and some stuff that reaches beyond what you might expect from them. As well, this band actually has a message they want to convey. It's nothing mind-blowing, just that people need to be aware of what's going on around them. This album is a good balance of sounds, and I highly suggest you pick it up.