Tuesday, July 24, 2012

100 Albums That Make Me Love Music: 71. The Ataris: End is Forever

My friends all like to make fun of me for preferring End is Forever over The Atari’s beloved album Blue Skies, Broken Hearts... Next 12 Exits. Don’t get me wrong, I love Blue Skies.. but I love hearing personal music which End is Forever is and then some.
End is Forever has plenty of love songs (much like Blue Skies and Anywhere but Here), you start off with the heart-break anthem Giving Up On Love, a song that I can’t possibly be the ONLY person who gets frustrated and sings to himself after a bad date or rough rejection. 
However this is immediately followed by songs like Summer Wind Will Always Be Our Song and IOU One Galaxy which contains lyrics that you wish more songwriters were capable of crafting.  Lines like ‘It’s like every wish I ever made came true/the day I woke up lying next to you’

The band even has their typical teen anthem song with Teenage Riot, a song that discusses past shows, fights and their ‘PA Firehall Tour’ in the mid-90s. It has a nice sense of humor reminescent of their debut album. I miss that sense of humor now that the Ataris take themselves super seriously.
What sets End is Forever apart from other Ataris albums (and most pop punk records) are two key elements. First of all, there are songs like How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Fast Times at Drop Out High, and Road Signs and Rock Shows. These songs all read like journal entries more than simple song lyrics. They talk about loneliness on the road, finding out his dad isn’t really his father and dropping out of high school.
The other element is the use of well placed movie quote samples. Pop punk bands are always using movie quotes (Lanemeyer did an album of all Better off Dead quotes for example). End is Forever only uses two clips but they’re so perfectly placed it makes the whole album stand out because of it. 
The first clip comes at the end of Bad Case of Broken Heart. The Clip is from Clerks with Silent Bob saying ‘There’s a million fine looking girls in the world, but they don’t all bring you lasagana, most just cheat on you’. The song immediately jumps into Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A  Start (my favorite song on the album) which also contains a reference to Clerks (“hang outside of Quick-Stop, pretended that I was in Clerks”).
The second clip is found in Fast Times At Drop-Out High containing a long (but great) quote from Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting.
Truly a beautiful piece of nostalgic and pop culture references blended into one perfect album.

Matt Kelly can also be found hosting The Saint Mort Show, Co-hosting the Reddit Horror Club Podcast, Writing for Geekscape,Tweeting and running Dollar Monday Promotions.

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