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Shreen - EP

All

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Album Review

All go into the famous Memphis studio Ardent (Big Star, Replacements, '60s Stax soul) and debut yet another new singer, Chad Price, on this teaser 10" for the Breaking Things LP. What's confusing is the presence on backing vocals of the band's original vocalist back from their Descendents days, Milo Auckerman. (All moved from L.A. to Missouri in 1991; Auckerman lives in Madison, WI. How did they meet up for this?) Perhaps it's nostalgic to say so, but the temptation is to imagine Auckerman getting a crack at lead vocals again for the first time in years. The man is one of the best and most famous in the history of punk-pop; everyone knows that. Anyway, "Shreen" (All has a penchant for making up words for titles) is no departure, yet another slice of the same All we all know. How can a band repeat itself so many damn times without boring the bell-bottoms off us? The answer must rest in All/Descendents' pursuit of the perfect tune, like a surfer's perfect wave, leading to Pop Tarts chorus after Fruit Loops chorus with plenty of Honeycomb harmonies. Bill Stevenson's post-Black Flag drumming remains the distinctive propulsive element year after decade, and on both "Shreen" and "Original Me" he's got his double-snare hits rolling. "Crucified" is lamentable MOR alternative sludge-rock, but at least All were doing it before it was profitable or MTV-ready.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

When renowned (and often copied) Los Angeles punk rockers the Descendents were forced to go on hiatus in the late '80s when singer Milo Aukerman left the group to attend college full-time, the remaining members decided to carry on under a different name: ALL (lifted from the title of the Descendents' final 1987 studio recording). Former Descendents members Bill Stevenson (drums), Stephen Egerton (guitar), and Karl Alvarez (bass) were all in attendance, as former Dag Nasty frontman Dave Smalley assumed...
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