All-Time Quarterback
All-Time Quarterback



by The Jungler USER (183 Reviews)
June 17th, 2006 | 9 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Ben Gibbard gets around, doesn’t he" His main project, Death Cab for Cutie has sold enough records to keep any indie front man happy but he then created an electronic side project, The Postal Service and made a gold record. But before most people knew DCFC, in the summer of 1999 Gibbard recorded what are to be his most eclectic, lo-fi songs under the moniker, All-Time Quarterback These songs were then grouped together and re-released onto one self titled CD. The concept of All-Time Quarterback certainly looks odd on paper. Ben Gibbard acts as the sole member, playing keyboards, bass, guitar, drums and of course singing. Whilst it looks like the ‘lineup’ of instruments Gibbard plays aren’t at all odd they are actually quite the opposite. Most of the tracks on ATQ are played solely on an old acoustic guitar that refuses to stay in tune, broken Casio keyboards and such. These performances weren’t tracked in L.A.’s top studio either. Gibbard recorded the majority of All-Time Quarterback’s only CD on either a four-track or on of those little CD player recording microphones. ATQ made three official releases: All-Time Quarterback in 1999, The Envelope Sessions also in 1999 and then this in 2002. This CD is actually more or less an ‘anthology’ containing some outtakes and the best songs off of the first two EPs, which are out of print.

There is no virtuosity on ATQ. No blistering guitar solos or slap bass wizardry or any of the like. Instead listeners are treated to the heart and soul of Ben Gibbard, sung atop pleasantly lo-fi music. The music is really fantastic at times despite lack of professional equipment and technicality. Some songs show hints at Gibbard’s next side project, the Postal Service with electronic blips and boops while others feature just Gibbard’s vocals and a horribly low quality guitar. The beautiful Cleveland takes the latter’s style, crafting a pretty love song atop nothing but the crappiest guitar I have ever heard. A perfect example of the former of those two styles is Rules Broken no drums are housed on the songs sans some Casio blips and fake snare hits, kind of like modern day Crunk. Intertwining guitar and snyth lines deliver an interesting melody that fits well under Gibbard’s vocals. The chorus to Rules Broken is just fantastic and I find myself humming it constantly. The lyrics on Rules Broken are clever but nothing to marvel over: And if we could break the rules that were already broken before we were born/ Then we could hold them to their guns cause we'd be a punk rock band too. .

Ben Gibbard delivers performances under the name All-Time Quarterback that should be held high next his performances on Death Cab’s classics. His songwriting is (nearly) as good as it gets and really shows as un-glossy a look at his mind as possible. His voice is unaffected and most of the songs feature no production other than his own. The music whilst not amazing is easy to fall in love with. The album is short, 11 songs in under a half hour and comes highly recommended (from me) to anyone who likes his other works. A solid, 4/5 for sure.

Standout Tracks
-Dinner At Eight In The Suburbs- Possibly the only song without keyboards that features a “drum beat”.
-Cleveland- Beautiful lo-fi ballad
-Rules Broken- An electronic tinted indie pop of high quality.
-Sock Hop- A great, depressing lo-fi love song.
-Send Packing- The album closer and longest track is a beautiful Alt-Rock track with possibly the highest quality recording on the album.


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user ratings (23)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 17th 2006


that's a good name for a band.

June 17th 2006


sounds like my bag
good reveiw

June 17th 2006


I've been looking for some more lo-fi type of stuff. I'm not really a Death Cab fan but I'll look into this. Good work on the review, short but informative.

June 17th 2006


Stellar review, as usual. This sounds interesting but I probably eon't end up looking in to it.

June 17th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

this album is cute.

pretty much agree with everything you said. including recommended tracks.

all hail Benn Gibbard.

June 18th 2006


yeah, this album rocks. It's miles better than the Postal Service, and better than alot of Death Cab stuff.

My favorite song is Underwater.

June 18th 2006


I love this album. Proves that you don't need expensive instruments or a top recording studio to make good music.

August 4th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. pretty decent album. Ben Gibbard is an amazing musician. considering he didnt use top of the line stuff proves this is probably the worst its gunna get from him. which shows a lot

September 23rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

listened to to send packing and was instantly hooked

ben gibbard is a god among men

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