Impossibles - The Impossibles (Cover Artwork)


The Impossibles (1997)

Red 5 / Fueled by Ramen

This was the first release by the Impossibles and was actually first released by Red 5 Records and then re-released by Fueled by Ramen. It's an amazing debut album for a band who was so young at the time. There are many influences at play here--not just ska and power-pop. I have heard more than a few people describe this album as ska-Weezer, but that is really an injustice to an album that actually packs quite a bit of variety in style.

The album opens with "Eightball," which is a great opener, especially with the sound clip of Rory yelling out "Hi, we're the Impossibles from Austin, TX," and really grabs your interest right off the bat. "Widowmaker" is a witty breakup song which shows off just how effective Rory and Gabe were as a vocal duo. "Always Have, Always Will" is a great song and I still get goosebumps when I hear the chorus right after the bridge. Other strong tracks on the album are "Priorities Intact," which has no ska riffs whatsoever, and "Leave No Man Behind," which is my personal favorite song on the album. There are a couple of weaker songs such as "Fat Boy," which is a failed attempt to get a laugh, but this is an album that I never skip a track on.

The production on this album is handled well, especially for a low-budget release in 1997, and is sequenced well. Musically, there is nothing very technical going on here, but there is a good variety of rhythms and every member does their part. It's probably more of a compliment to the songwriting, but the songs all feel as if the part of each instrument was considered. The drum parts may not be flashy but move each song in just the right way; the bass parts are especially good as Craig knows when to showflash and when it's time to just help thicken up the guitar parts; and the guitar playing is definitely competent and on the parts with distortion sound nice and thick. The vocals are the real highlight on this record, and the use of two singers is much more effective than other bands who do the same thing.

Overall, this a great record which never got the attention it deserved. It is especially impressive that the members were so young when this was released. If you're a fan of rock music in general this is definitely worth a listen.