Well, guys, my air conditioner from 1983 is no longer. It’s currently sitting on the sidewalk in front of my house. It’s honestly a bit sad to see it go because I know my bank account is going with it but I’m still so excited for the new one. I still have a few hours to go before they are done installing everything so may as well check out another album. All Board!’s ‘The Rules of Distractions’ has been sitting on my desk a while now but it’s one that I’ve been anxious to jump into and now feels like as good of a time as any to dig in!
“Attraction” gets things started as a quick intro track that lays out the soundtrack of a carnival or fair. You can hear people screaming on a coaster as the cars slide across the track and just the overall ambiance you would get from a fair or something before guitars come in and catapult this album into “Perfect Stranger”. The true first track, “Perfect Stranger” instantly had me in love with All Aboard!. A little The Menzingers with a little bit of heartbroken soul like Dave Hause, this band was only on their first track of the album but I was already in love and I don’t think there’s anything this band could do to make me not be infatuated with them.
Apologies, i have none is a band I have been following for a few years so I was elated to see their name next to “Satisfaction”. Although you can hear their distinct sound in this track, you also hear All Aboard!’s sound that had been laid out during “Perfect Stranger”. This was an instant favorite of mine (and now just because of the Apologies, i have none connection. There’s energy and angst in this track but there’s also a wicked guitar part that has a little almost southern twang to it.
On & On” brings a more singer-songwriter feel to this album but it’s far from a singer-songwriter song. What do I mean by this? Well, I’m not quite sure but you’ll understand when you hear it. There’s just a sense of sensitivity in this track that comes through in a heavy way. The vocals just have a little bit more emotion attached to every word and the instrumentation seems to mirror that heaviness with the way everything moves from note to note and beat to beat. That more sensitive nature doesn’t last long as the album moves onto “Mouth Of The Shark (All Aboard?)”. Although not as sensitive, I feel like this track still has this odd element that keeps it feeling as in your face as the first few songs. This is far from a bad thing. These past two songs really show you a whole other side of this band that deserves to shine and shines bright like a diamond.
Songs on this album are short, too short, and before I knew it, we were onto “Crossroads”. This anthemic jam was an instant favorite of mine. Emo-tinged vocals matched an infectious bassline and proper pop-punk drumming in the perfect way. The lyrics, oh man, where do I start with the lyrics? Although they’ve stood out to me on all of the songs thus far (and are sure to continue to do so), I feel like they really hit me during “Crossroads”. You know the drill, I’m not going to give away the lyrics but I suggest you pay close attention to them in this song. Hell, you won’t really have a choice– there’s just something about the presentation of them in this track that makes the words stand out just a little bit more than in the previous tracks.
“57 Walnut Street” was the first song I ever heard from this band and it’s the track that had me intrigued. I was super excited as this track took over my headphones. Another song full of pop-punk perfection, the energy in this song is electric and it had me wondering if the two guys installing the furnace and air conditioner would judge me for dancing around the kitchen.
Although the lyrics of “What Dying Feels Like” are some of the saddest on the album, this track feels upbeat and fun. An infectious beat with driving guitars and, again, pop-punk perfect vocals, this track was another instant favorite of mine just because I’m always a sucker for deceivingly upbeat tracks. I was so lost in this track that I was bummed as “Like Lyrics” pushed its way into my speakers but that disappointment didn’t last. Another solid track, “Like Lyrics” instantly had me pleading with the concert gods for a chance to see All Aboard! live. There’s just such an undeniable sense of energy in this track but also an almost Frank Turner-esque style when it comes to the vocal delivery. It’s storytelling at its finest and the story is one that every thirty-something like myself can surely relate to.
There are nods to all of my favorite genres throughout this album but you get a little bit more of the punk influence during “Footsteps” and I loved every second of it. There’s just a little bit more aggression in the drumbeat and with the guitars and then just a little bit more of a sharp tongue when it comes to the words. The delivery on this track is spot-on and is another track that I would kill to see live but, like the rest, it was over in the blink of an eye and, before I knew it, “Why Pretend?” was pumping through my headphones. Another powerful, anthemic, and clearly All Aboard! song, this track is bouncy but, again, has lyrics that hit just a little too close to home if you’re not prepared for them.
I truly didn’t want this album to end but as “Distraction” started playing, I realized we were there. This album closes out the same way it opened– with the sounds of a carnival or fair of some sort only this time there was no guitar to pull me in. This was a gentle and perfect way to end this album but I honestly just didn’t want it to end.
My apologies to the two guys working in my house right now– the rest of your time spent installing all of my crap will also be spent listening to this album on repeat. #sorrynotsorry
My Favorite Track(s): All of them but, if I have to choose: “Satisfaction”; “What Dying Feels Like”; “Like Lyrics”
For Fans Of: Pop-Punk Perfection; Angst; Good Music
Mosh-ability: 8 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats are are still locked in the bathroom upstairs. It is unclear if the roll of toilet paper in there has survived
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 10 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 10 out of 10
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Check out ‘The Rules of Distraction’ HERE!
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