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With Wretch Like Me, Someday I, and Armstrong. Friday, August 23, at the Grog Shop.

All
  • All

Some punk rockers are hopelessly obsessed with girls. Some of them should remain so.

Witness the Descendents -- fondly remembered L.A. punks who wrote poppy, wimpy tunes about stupid chicks and the nerds who love 'em. If you're looking to hunt down and kill everyone remotely responsible for emo, you could do worse.

As frontman Milo Aukerman keeps ditching the on-again/off-again band for biochemistry (wimp! nerd!), the remaining three Descendents simply snag a new singer and transform themselves into All, a largely like-minded collective that attempts to combine the ol' breakup anthems with goatee-stroking commentary on religion, politics, drug abuse, and so forth.

Musically, All sounds like punk rockers attempting to get all Dream Theater on that ass. There's plenty of cheetah-paced Warped Tour anthems, but you also get shrill metal riffs, math-rock time-signature backflips, and lotsa, lotsa, lotsa noise. And while it's inspiring to watch established dudes break type, the result's a wee bit muddled -- watching people dance to this is hilarious.

Still, All's worth seeing for its fidgety boredom with All Things Stereotypically Punk, but as former Bad Religion frontman Henry David Thoreau put it, "Simplify, simplify." Sometimes a tune called "She Broke My Dick" is all you need.

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