Album review

The All-American Rejects :
The All-American Rejects


The All-American Rejects : The All-American RejectsFunny but as I listen through the first track, My Paper Heart, I'm reminded of how much heat Cheap Trick took during their '80s less than heyday. The All-American Rejects are described as 'edgy pop-rock sung with unfettered emotion . . .' Please don't assume we're naive enough to buy into this idea of a 'new sound', please, please don't do that . . . again! That stone's been turned twelve hundred times over and it's time we made the best of what we've got and live by the results. And for a self-titled debut record that's considered edgy, crunchy, even aggressive in its melancholy, it's not half bad; and neither are the dozens of other indie-imprint types that follow a heart and play with a hook.

By now, Swing Swing will be heating up the hotlines and hit lists at college stations and news-stand rags nationwide and at the least, they'll probably be honored with their own float at the next Oklahoma State homecoming. Yes, in fact they hail from Stillwater; a sunny out of the way spot in a storybook suburb of choice. and they're more about Sly And The Family Stone than they are about slit wrists and shaken faith.
    The problem is that there's a few too many sound-alikes here for me to go out on a limb and praise these guys as the next big thing that's going to dazzle the rock 'n' roll lunatics waiting for the next big cavalcade of anti-heroes not named Jimmy Eat World or Weezer. That said, I was one of the few who could still stand Cheap Trick in 1986 when they had their bout of pop hit illness and let the fashion front the band instead of the way it was and would be again - so yes, I can see potential for this band, though I'd like to see a few more crashed cars, or broken guitar parts, or hell, even a school house burning . . . maybe a confrontational lyric, for god's sake! Unfortunately, the tunes ride the middle of the road and rarely stray far from their allotted shelter.
    The best tunes are My Paper Heart - because I liked Cheap Trick's One On One record, so sue me; Drive Away - like The Cure meets Blink 182; and Happy Endings, which features quirky effects over a driving guitar riff akin to Dashboard Confessional. As a whole, The All-American Rejects' debut will be praised far more than the sum of its parts, which for their part are decent, but nothing to raise a brow over.

:: Vinnie Apicella

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