All Biography

Formed in 1987 in Los Angeles, California, USA, from the ashes of the Descendents, All originally comprised Bill Stevenson (drums), Stephen Egerton (guitar), Karl Alvarez (bass) and Dave Smalley (vocals, ex-Dag Nasty). Those familiar with the Descendents’ brand of poppy punk were not disappointed with this continuation of a highly successful, albeit stylized, formula (not least a lyrical concern with caffeine). Immediately they established a repertoire of tongue-in-cheek songs such as ‘Alfredo’s’. Irreverent and immature, All’s first two albums were as light-hearted and engaging as American punk (pre- Green Day) could be. Their distinctive sound, built on immediate, accessible guitar riffs, was soon branded ‘pop-core’ in the USA, while in the UK, artists such as Mega City 4 and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin were obvious fans.

Scott Reynolds replaced Smalley on Allroy’s Revenge, a lesser work despite the inclusion of excellent single ‘She’s My Ex’. Trailblazer was recorded live at CBGB’s in New York, with Tommy Victor of Prong overseeing the production. Allroy Saves included songs such as ‘Freek’, a nine-second attempt to emulate James Brown, while ‘Frog’ discusses the joys of ‘having fun with an amphibian’. The band then joined up once more with Descendents bass player Tony Lombardo for the TonyAll album New Girl, Old Story, released in 1991.

Relocating to Brookfield, Missouri spurred the quartet to produce their finest recording to date, 1992’s Percolator, but was the final album to feature Reynolds. The band, with new lead singer Chad Price, moved to Fort Collins, Colorado and reverted to a basic punk rock sound on their new album. Breaking Things earned the following commendation from the UK’s Select magazine: ‘Terminally Luddite, impervious to change - if a post-Charles Atlas Ramones is your idea of fun, this is everything.’

In 1995 the band released Pummel, their debut for Interscope Records. After this brief sojourn with a major label the quartet moved to a more understanding outlet, Epitaph Records, releasing a series of enjoyable studio recordings. The Live Plus One set, released in 2001, included a bonus recording of a Descendents’ show from summer 1996 that saw Alvarez, Egerton, Stevenson reuniting with legendary frontman Milo Aukerman.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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