When guitarist Mark Arnold and bassist Frank Daly quit M.I.A., that group sadly split up after the terrific After the Fact, dealing yet another blow to what little remains of innovative punk (as opposed to tired hardcore, metal, and thrash) in the U.S. Fortunately, Arnold and Daly formed this pretty solid group, and though the record is nowhere near the breakthrough that the last M.I.A. LP was, Small Block is still very good. Daly switches to vocals and demonstrates unknown talent, a pure, delightful vibrato voice that's so tunefully melodic and almost wistful, he's immediately up there with All's Dave Smalley for best So-Cal pop-punk singer. All six songs are bold and catchy enough on their own, but it's really Daly's full, almost pretty voice that stands out. The EP is produced by All guitarist Stephen Egerton and Richard Andrews. Like Bad Religion's 1985 EP Back to the Known, side two has no music. Why?
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jack Rabid