"All's Well That Ends Well" (Equal Vision)

Reviewed by Ray Van Horn Jr.

I can understand why Equal Vision was attracted to this band. One of the most reliable labels for music that's in line with trends but just off-the-cuff enough to be memorable or at least notable, the very fact that Chiodos is on this label says enough. Despite some nice artistry, particularly with excellent baroque-like keys by Bradley Bell, Chiodos is generally a noisy screamo band that relies too heavily on some laggard breakdowns and piercing shrieks that grate instead of invigorate. 

Is Chiodos a bad band? Not really. The guilt factor of this band is the fact that it thinks ahead of itself and it seldom executes accordingly. Sometimes they're frankly boring, but sometimes they also peek out with fresh concepts and articulate moments that elevate them. Check out "One Day Women Will Become Monsters," which sneakily transcends from the hopelessly dry opening track "All Nereids Beware." You think it's a pretty satisfying finish to the drab "All Nereids Beware," but "One Day Women Will Become Monsters" is a pretty heavy hitter unto itself. "There's No Penguins in Alaska" is also a pretty cool straightforward jam that is unfortunately marred by ho-hum breakdowns and pukey throat squeals. In other words, hang with the verses and you'll do well with this song.

If anything, Chiodos has some creative titles to expunge typical spoiled relationship motifs, like "We're Gonna Have Us a Champagne Jam," "To Trixie and Reptile, Thanks for Everything" and the hilariously titled "No Hardcore Dancing in the Living Room." If you want my opinion, there's an unspoken competition between these emo/screamo/metalcore bands to generate the best literati song titles. Never before have I seen such overt poetry in punk; it's beginning to look suspiciously like collective posturing.

As sharp as Chiodos is in the lyrical department, what it boils down to in the end is the music. One can pinpoint their jazzy bridge on "Baby, You Wouldn't Last a Minute in the Creek" or the luxurious piano opening to "The Words 'Best Friend' Become Redefined" as examples in their favor, but overall, Chiodos is a high-wailing headache that would do better to capitalize on the things they do outside of the mold and dispense with the fruitless breakdowns and demographic-plying yowls that drag them down.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:11 -0500.