Before The Blackout



by USER (43 Reviews)
October 13th, 2005 | 7 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

I was never a huge fan of Drive-Thru records back in the day. The Starting Line, Allister, The Early November, it all screamed "generic" with every chord. Now, I guess the tables have turned. What was once dull and lifeless thanks to the efforts of Sum 41 and Blink-182 is now a little more fresh and fun, and a great break from the recent wave of "emo" that has plagued the media. Yeah kids, get those Atreyu and My Chemical Romance CD's off! It's time for a lesson in pop-punk, Drive-Thru style.

Allister aren't exactly an original band. What they pull off well is fun, and that's what you'll find here. It's been 3 years since their last album, Last Stop, Suburbia, and the boys are back pounding away at those guitar strings like before. From the minute you hear this album sing "Well lately...", it does scream "generic". But this is less generic than the 2002 style pop-punk, it's fast-paced and filled with fun melodies and lyrics to keep you singing along. "D²" is the first real example of them growing up, with a lot more melody and structure between the lead and rhythm guitar. It's 4 minutes of cheesy pop-punk, with clichés like "Locked down and alienated, confused and complicated/Now it seems you still have my heart".

Of course, the album doesn't stop there. It's a bit darker than previous Allister, with heavier riffs and licks complementing each other nicely. "Blackout" truely does feel like another band, but even with the slower tempo and rolling drums, you never forget it's Allister. The chorus puts you back in place and will have you dinging along in no time. "2 A.M." is a very melodic song, jumping from a clean verse with "ooh's" in the background over a smooth guitar melody, to a distorted chorus which does feel quite bland and unoriginal, but it's hard not to fall for the song if you are a DTR pop-punk fan.

"A Study In Economics" again doesn't feel like Allister, but it's completely different. More rolling drums, a bass-oriented verse and hard-hitting chorus make this feel like old-school Green Day believe it or not. Of course, I'm not comparing, but it reminds me of them a lot. The pace definately adds to the structure as well, switching from loud to quiet so smoothly. "Easy Answers" once again feels like another band, much more like American Hi-Fi. The screeching guitar lick between the chorus and second verse, the heavier guitars and guest vocals definately make this a change for the album, and add a lot of variety to a small genre.

Now, "The Legend Of Peglef Sullivan" is more like Allister, and is the "joke song" of the album. It has a great melody and is one of the more memorable songs on the album, just because of it's lyrics. The ender, "Alone", is a fantastic way to cap it off. It sort of sums up the album completely, and represents Allister for what they are; Just another pop-punk band trying to have fun doing what they love.

Yeah, this album does scream "generic". But don't let this put you off. It feels like 2002 pop-punk again, and is a great breather from the music filling the airwaves today. Fun lyrics and melodies, some surprise songs which open new doors for the band. Before The Blackout is by far not an original album, but it serves it's purpose, and I enjoy listening to this. As much as I used to hate Drive-Thru, it feels good to be able to enjoy pop-punk of this style again. Now, if we could get Fenix*TX and The Movielife rejoining and bringing out new albums, my year might just be complete.


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user ratings (22)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
October 13th 2005


actually saw them live as an opening band and they werent anything special

October 13th 2005


decent review, im not a big fan of pop-punk in general but allister always managed to keep me entertained, even saw them a few times, on purpose!! anyway ill need to check this new album out, cheers.

October 19th 2005


Album Rating: 2.5

Im borrowing my friends album and their Suburbia album, its ok, got out of pop-punk a while ago but idk its ok i guess.

October 27th 2005


Album Rating: 2.5

Wow I saw the album in stores and it claims Allister is "Chicago's Best!" wow what a statement

December 25th 2005


i do agree that rise against is way better than allister, but i still love this band. i just got this album today and i love it, D2 is just great, good review, but i dont know if i agree with it much, being that i think this album is quite inventive.

June 4th 2006


I agree with this review. Although Allister isnt my favorite band, this is refreshing to listen to after hearing all the new emo stuff like my chemical romcance, but its nothing new.

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