The Wonder Years & All Or Nothing

Distances EP

Written by: PP on 10/03/2009 00:40:40

All regular readers of Rockfreaks.net should by now be familiar with pop-hardcore heroes The Wonder Years, the band that got us so stoked back in 2007 with their record "Get Stoked On It!" that we nominated is as the #1 album of 2007, who are popping up in our coverage from time to time. Less so are All Or Nothing, a relatively newly formed British pop punk band who opened for The Wonder Years' UK mini-tour in late 2007, where they impressed the headliners so much that about a year and half later, the two bands are gearing up to release a split EP called "Distances", something which should fit right in the record collection of every punk/hardcore fan out there.

Basically, what we get are two new The Wonder Years songs, and two (three? I'm not entirely sure, my promo only has two) by All Or Nothing. Lets start with the former, and deduce straight away that they aren't a one album-hit wonder type of band. While their previous EP "Won't Be Pathetic Forever" had a couple of excellent tracks on it, it suffered from overproduction of the sloppy guitar/keyboard melody which made us fall in love with the band in the first place, hence failing to make as great of an impression as the full length. "An Elegy For Baby Blue" sees the band backtrack a few steps, effectively landing the sound right in between the two releases. Back are the vibrant guitar distortions and faint drums to give their sound the much-needed sharp edges, but not at the cost of the improved harmony in Soupy's vocals thanks to a better production. Good job there. Of course, the pop-hardcore styled gang shouts and ridiculously catchy choruses are also there... in a nutshell, both songs are quintessential The Wonder Years for anyone who needs the rough edges in their pop punk just like New Found Glory had them on their debut (and apparently, now on their latest as well).

But none of that's really surprising, considering the band's yet to write a bad song in their career. That's why the real focus on the EP lies on the young Brits All Or Nothing, who've really come through here especially with "I'm Not Being Rude, But I Could Have Had Your Job", a magnificent pop punk anthem to the very meaning of the word. Unlike the garage-ish feel of The Wonder Years, these guys are all about a clean, slick sound which better highlights their instantly catchy choruses. Structurally and instrumentally, they're actually not that far-fetched from The Wonder Years, actually the only difference is the sleeker sound and a stronger clean-melody pop punk vibe. When you then take into consideration the quality of both of the songs I've heard here, we may have ourselves a potential future breakout act of the year candidate come 2010.

So really, this EP isn't as much about The Wonder Years (although they're still so adorable and fun you can't but love them), as it is about using their well recognized name to promote a new band that deserves all the support it can get. After The Wonder Years establishes a quality framework with two tasters of what the dudes have been up to as of late, it becomes All Or Nothing's show, and it's not a show you should miss.

8

Download: An Elegy For Baby Blue (TWY), I'm Not Being Rude But I Could Have Had Your Job (AON)
For the fans of: The Wonder Years, Four Year Strong, New Found Glory, Set Your Goals
Listen: The Wonder Years Myspace, All Or Nothing Myspace

Release date 10.03.2009
No Sleep Records

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