Know the Score - All Guts, No Glory (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Know the Score

All Guts, No Glory (2005)

Goodbye Blue Skies

It's kind of difficult to develop a real rhythm and sound of your own when the music is stopping every 45 seconds. Essentially a musical game of Red Light, Green Light, Know the Score's All Guts, No Glory is too choppy and fragmented for its own good. And I suppose that's an easy thing to have happen when more than half the songs on a record don't eclipse the one-minute mark.

I'm all for brevity, so long as the band can make it work well. That usually involves the majority of songs being short, not a random sampling; that's when you run into the type of problems that render a record too choppy to listen to and enjoy. That's what's happened with Know the Score. That's what happens when you're a band who juxtaposes 30-second songs with ones three times that long. It makes the flow far too irregular for the band to be able to set a groove.

It's a shame, too, because the band is capable of making some real powerful hardcore. "Phased Out" combines razor-sharp vocals with sharper riffing to lead into a breakdown that surprisingly, does not sound completely contrived and completely misplaced as many breakdowns are. It's just a wrinkle thrown into the song to kick it up a notch or two, and it succeeds completely. They're just as comfortable with a faster, more old-school style however, as is illustrated with the followup, "Swing ‘Em Like You Got ‘Em." But this is where the album's problem becomes painfully apparent -- the song is 24 seconds long. The quick groove and ferocious vocals reel you in, the pounding drum rolls keep you there...and then it's over. Done, just like that, just as soon as it began.

If these guys could learn the value of rhythm and flow, they'd be in a much better place with this record. If the 13 minutes were stretched into 20, this review would be coming from a largely different angle. As it stands, it's just a mediocre effort that makes light of what could have been.