All things considered, I should really like “Here’s to Those Who Wish Us Well… All the Rest Can Go to Hell,” the newest EP by All Things End. The songs are all 3 minutes or under, the guitars are fast, the bass is thick, the drums are pounding, the lyrics are easy to sing with, the vocals are gruff, and it sounds good while sober or while drinking a bottle of whiskey.
Yet there’s something about Here’s to Those Who Wish Us Well… All the Rest Can Go to Hell that just doesn’t work for me. Even after multiple listens over the course of the last few weeks, there’s just something about these four songs that keeps me from enjoying it at full capacity. The only thing I can come up with is vocalist Chris Giordano’s growl; it has a very throaty feel to it, almost metal-throaty sounding, while also being shouted over punk rock songs, and I think that it’s a combination that definitely takes some warming up to before it can be completely enjoyed.
Vocals aside, everything else about this EP screams classic Epitaph and Hellcat Records material without sounding dated or recycled. The EP is kind of like NOFX, Rancid, or Pennywise in a way: the chord progressions have an energetic and melodic feel, and the songs are catchy in the sense that it’s easy enough to tap your foot along with the music. I’d be willing to bet that the energy on this recording pales in comparison to the band’s live show. There’s a raw energy on this recording that makes me think that there’s no way that they’re not fun to watch live. The EP’s final track, Here’s to Those, is the token acoustic closer in which Giordano’s vocals are sung rather than shouted, and it gives off more of a Hot Water Music or Jawbreaker feel.
Minor complaints aside, this EP is pretty good for a debut, and it makes for a good introduction to a new band. I may not be the biggest fan of the vocals, but I appreciate that All Things End take some risks by doing things differently from their peers and influences. Here’s to Those Who Wish Us Well… may not be a top contender for favorite EP of the year, but it has put a new group on on the map to keep an eye on in the future.
You can stream the EP here.