Current mood: curious

IF ALL ELSE FAILS, the band from Upland, CA, doesn't disappoint their local fans or anyone else with their self-titled CD that you can acquire at any of their live appearances. The packed 12 song CD has both studio tracks and live site cuts, all showcasing this five piece punk rock band that actually sings vocals that you can understand. Understanding the vocals leads one to suspect that one of the band influences has to be RUSH, for the lyrics speak more of the poetry of life and relationships than rage at the jacked way things appear to be. The production is excellent, the vocals clear and spatially separated, the tunes carefully blended by the bass, drums, and double rhythm guitars.
It is when you enter the second group of songs done live that you start to see another band emerge from the initial punk rush rockers. Although the production is not as crisp as the previous studio tracks, the sound is altered by the addition of keyboards and horns as the songs move on in a 'YES' sort of rambling. After the live songs section, two more studio cuts are found but probably at another studio because the vocals are hot. But the band has moved their sound further down the rock road. However, it is last track, a live cut of 'The Discerned' that brings the listener to the present growth of the band, and punk rock is nowhere to be heard. - PT ROTHSCHILD