ALL - Allroy's Revenge. (Cover Artwork)


Allroy's Revenge. (1989)


Simply put, ALL may be the most underrated band in punk history. This becomes evident browsing through this very site -- ALL's first three albums (all pop-punk gems) are not even reviewed. The most practical explanation for this, of course, is that the Descendents' legacy prevented ALL from achieving the same success. For those of you who are in the dark about both of these bands, ALL was essentially the same band as the Descendents -- just a different vocalist.

Released in 1989, Allroy's Revenge. is considered by many ALL fans to be their very best. It was the first record with Scott Reynolds on vocals and is practically a greatest hits album with instant classics such as "Fool," "Scary Sad," "She's My Ex," "Carnage," "Box," etc.

My first ALL album was their debut Allroy Sez, which featured Dave Smalley (formerly with Dag Nasty) on vocals. I was a little concerned that I would not enjoy the change, but I quickly discovered that Reynolds was more suited for ALL; his vocals, while melodic, provided a certain energy that was missing with Smalley. Later on of course, Reynolds would be replaced by Chad Price, whose growly vocals never quite did it for me.

While ALL is a separate entity from the Descendents, it is impossible to not compare the two. If you enjoyed songs such as "Silly Girl," "Cheer," and "Clean Sheets," and you have never given ALL a chance, then you need to drop everything and pick up this record now. On the other hand, you do have the occassional fast punk track; on this particular record, it is the third song titled "Check One," a 43-second long track with spoken vocals and chaotic guitars.

The album opens up with a classic Steven Egerton instrumental, and dives straight into "Fool," a pop-punk song that anyone who is lovesick can relate to. Lyrically, everything is very top-notch, especially in "Scary Sad," a song written by Bill Stevenson about a self-abusive girl. "She's My Ex," while very simple and straight-forward, is a song that nearly every guy can relate to and is probably the catchiest number on the album.

In my opinion, ALL never completely topped this album, although the next two -- Allroy Saves and Percolater -- came close. It appears as though the band may be done -- they've promised an instrumental album and another full-length album for the last four years, but nothing has come of it. But we cannot completely rule out the possibility, and hopefully we'll see at least one or two more releases.

It's a shame that this band never gets the credit they deserve, and I can understand why the members of this band have expressed frustration about this. This album, along with several others they released, are just as good (if not better) than the Descendents' best material. If you have never listened to ALL, this would be a great record to start with. If you do have this album, I strongly recommend the live record they released the same year, Trailblazer, as it features many of these songs.