Know the Score - All Time Low (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Know the Score

All Time Low (2006)


Ever wanted to hear how Paint It Black would sound with dumbed-down lyrics and a ton of long, unneccesary breakdowns?

Yeah, me neither.

Okay, so there's a lot wrong with Know the Score's debut full-length, All Time Low. The majority of these 17 songs follow a simple formula: fast and/or heavy intro and verse, guitar fadeout to the bridge, long breakdown that goes absolutely nowhere. Expectedly, this causes the songs to blend together and leave no impression on the listener.

There are some decent things going on here, though you have to listen carefully to hear them. Songs like "$2000 Guarantee" and "Safety in Numbers" are competent hardcore. "Hell or High Water" and "State of Disgrace" are loaded with metal riffing á la Municipal Waste. The brief homages to old-school hardcore and thrash metal in most of these songs are unfortunately just that: brief. Before you know it, the band's ruined a perfectly decent song with another uninteresting breakdown. What's bad is All Time Low has a running time of just over 20 minutes, including a seven-minute closing track with an inexplicable four-minute bout of silence. So in 16 minutes of music there's still a ton of filler and a ton of ideas that never really go anywhere.

Know the Score are a band with potential, if they can just figure out what they want to be. If anything, this record is unapologetically raw and honest, but that's not enough to keep it from being subpar. The fact is, there are literally dozens of bands playing this style of music, and most of them do it better than this. In the future, if they can keep the breakdowns to a minimum (or at least make them interesting) and expand on their hardcore and thrash leanings, they could release a stellar record. Hopefully All Time Low is just that for Know the Score.