Life Behind Machines

Written by: PP on 04/12/2012 22:22:29

There was a time when Allister were considered one of the most promising bands in pop punk and had the potential to take the scene with a storm. That time was more than a decade ago when the band released "Dead Ends And Girlfriends" in 1999 as well as "Last Stop Suburbia" in 2002, both fun and enjoyable pop punk albums which started the clean and well-produced takeover of the genre that lasted for the better part of last decade. Since then, the band have struggled at creating anything worthwhile and that struggle continues on their fifth album "Life Behind Machines".

The record starts off well with three up tempo tracks that recall the best of Mxpx, The Ataris, Midtown, and other early 2000s pop punk bands. They bring renewed energy to a band that has been stale for a while, and suggest that perhaps "Life Behind Machines" is where they return to form. Unfortunately that doesn't last long because already on track four, "Stuck Powered On", Allister literally sound like a cheap My Chemical Romance rip off.

What is Allister doing writing My Chem type emo/alternative rock exactly? Then "Drive" brings in weird indie synth and Eve 6 style vocals in a what is an almost 180 degree turn from the fun pop punk of the first few tracks to bland rock that resembles one too many crappy mainstream indie/rock band for its own good. Even a track like "Pretty Damn Close" doesn't rescue the disc with its blatant New Found Glory aping circa "Sticks & Stones" era. The synths return to "Tethered To The Wall" big time resulting in an overtly dramatic song that feels more poseur than real, more fake than honest.

Even though Allister have always flirted with the pop element to a significant degree and have enjoyed slick production values throughout the career, they take a step too far on this one. The songs are bland and forgettable, uninspiring and unintuitive even for an Allister fan. It says a lot when I have a hard time getting past track seven on each listen. No wonder this release is receiving nada promotion outside of Japan. If you must listen to Allister, make sure to refer to their first two albums only.

Download: 5 Years, Pretty Damn Close, Live Fast Die Young
For the fans of: Mxpx, The Ataris, Midtown
Listen: Universal Japan

Release date 03.10.2012
Universal japan

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