Against All Authority / Common Rider split / 2005 Hopeless / 8 Tracks / http://www.aaaonline.com / http://www.hopelessrecords.com / Reviewed 28 March 2005
A long time ago, I bought Against All Authority’s All Fall Down for a few bucks from a place at a flea market. I never listened to it much, but I guess now, after selling it, maybe I should have. This is not the ska I was imagining from the band, but rather a pop-influenced brand of rock. Nods are given to bands like Screeching Weasel and The Clash, albeit much more noisy than either of those two bands have been in the past. The only thing that can really be said about track slike “War Machine Breakdown” is that the noisy sound of “Lied To” is almost too much for the track, with guitars threatening to obscure the slightly-snotty vocals of Danny. Against All Authority’s tracks spin through almost too fast, but a slower-tempoed track in the vein of Operation Ivy (World Dominator) does well in trying to stave off the upcoming end of their side of the split. This final track also does much to showcase a side of AAA that is not seen much on this split. The start-stop nature of the track does become a mite bit tedious, but aside from the minor mastering problems Against All Authority’s side even tops my expectations for the band.
Now, Common Rider has much more of a time trying to impresse me, as the four tracks that we find on this split are outtakes from the “This Is Unity Music” disc – the band has been broken up since 2003. However, tracks like “Where The Waves Are Highest” are not simply Jesse and the rest of the band screwing around, but really are tracks that should have made it onto the disc. The seventies-style guitar of “Dogtown” really creates another viable pathway for Common Rider to go; with this track, I can see why it didn’t make it onto “Unity Music”, as it is so much different than the tightly-knit nucleus of tracks on the CD would allow. “Blue Spark” moves away again from the sound that Common Rider made for their last disc, moving towards a more pop-punk type of style. What is exciting about this split is that both bands really come out of their shells and provide their listeners with completely new outlooks and abilities – it is really too sad that Common Rider had to break up, but get this disc and listen to the possible last recordings of Jesse and the Riders.
Top Tracks: War Machine Domination, Blue Spark