Seemingly oblivious to the Atlantic Ocean, the hard-touring, grammy-nominated, rock ensemble All Star United years ago developed a rabid and widespread following that stretched from the U.S. and Canada, across Western Europe, down to Australia, and into parts of Asia. Those early years for ASU were something of a non-stop white-knuckle ride of recording and international touring, stories of which have now assumed an almost legendary quality. The sometimes moving, sometimes snarky, but always hooky and brilliant music ASU created then had a staying power that still draws festival crowds numbering in the thousands in several countries.
Now, with the release of their sixth project “The Good Album” All Star United vindicates the undying devotion of their fans, offering a loud and clear picture of what being seasoned veterans of the rock trade is all about. And though the band has softened their touring schedule in recent years (coinciding with Eskelin’s emergence as one of Nashville’s new hot-handed writer/producers), their worldwide fanbase has hung on doggedly, refusing to let All Star United even think about going away.
“We keep making All Star records because it keeps us sane,” Eskelin explains. “Writing and producing for other artists is a very different thing from saying what you personally really want to say in the way you really want to say it. Making an ASU record means we don’t have to hold anything back. That means a lot of guitars and a lot of satire, and a whole lot of fun.”
ASU’s previous project, Love & Radiation, found significant traction with prime time TV placements on ABC and CBS, and showed up in odd spots like the film trailer for the movie ‘Superbad’. The Good Album is expected to do more of the same. An eleven song whirlwind that lampoons our cultural tendencies toward materialism, pleasure-seeking, and celebrity-worship, even while exploring weightier topics like guilt, original sin, and the power of forgiveness in relationships, the Good Album plays like a “Best Of” collection of singles. The project launches with the towering retro-groove track Surface of the Sun (an obvious crowd-pumper for the live show), moves through the Fray-like “The Blame,” into the outright hilarious “Dude…That’s Freaking Awesome!”, and through the frantic “Lights Out” before winding it’s way to the tongue-in-cheek Beastie Boys snarl of “Good Luck With the Girls,” and the final sing-along stomper “Good Times”. The Good Album is a record with no fat or filler.
“It’s called the Good Album,” Eskelin explains, “because the word ‘good’ kept showing up in song titles, and we thought there was something funny about calling it that. But the truth is, this really feels like the best ASU album we’ve ever turned out. Not that I’m biased or anything…”