All Else Failed

All Else Failed


Now Or Never

Of all the idioms falling under the heavy music milieu these days, metalcore • or, more specifically, the ambivalently defined “noisecore” strain of it • seems to be going the strongest, both in terms of creative vitality and the sheer number of bands plying this jackhammer trade. With the latter qualifier, there comes an oversaturation point, and noisecore is quickly eclipsing it, where everybody is ripping off everybody else. All Else Failed are not one of those bands. Not all that new to the scene (all the songs here were written between early ’97 and late ’99, with four being previously released in different form and with a different lineup), All Else Failed nonetheless make their high-profile debut with Archetype, their second long-player overall, being given the good blessings of having The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Benjamin Weinman in the producer’s chair. Well, All Else Failed don’t sound anything like the Plan • as far as this microcosm goes, but non-metallers will probably say it all sounds like the same racket • but instead maintain a similar vaguely art-damaged attack, this Philly four-piece savoring seemingly off-kilter stomps singed with tense loops of dissonant riffery and a generally loosely slung chaos. Likewise, they aren’t afraid to show an experimental side, lacing the proceedings with both scorched electronic tones (“Your Days Are Numbered”) and unresolved piano chords (“Did You Think of Me?”); they even have the balls to get all preciously emo on the bittersweetly melodic “In Time” and “Route 1.” One drawback, however, is frontman Luke Muir’s vocals, which, as incensed as they are, often grate monochromatically like a drill sergeant’s bark; fortunately for him, he can pen some acidicly acerbic lyrics (from the entirety of “Stray Bullet”: “If I could blame a single thought, I’d label it a stray bullet/A stray bullet, in purest form, doesn’t think/It does its job.“). Mildly flawed, but succeeding nevertheless, Archetype is a worthy addition to this increasingly interesting can(n)on.

Now Or Never Records, 61 Riordan Place, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702;,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Payal Kapadia
    Payal Kapadia

    Earlier this year, director Payal Kapadia was awarded the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing. Lily and Generoso interviewed Kapadia about her poignant film, which employs a hybrid-fiction technique to provide a personal view of the student protests that engulfed Indian colleges and universities during the previous decade.

  • Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

    A classic children’s tale re-imagined by America’s greatest composers.

  • Taraka

    Welcome to Paradise Lost (Rage Peace). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives