Album review
All In A Day
The Stingers ATX
Grover Records
April 5, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Pickup
  2. Let's Be In Love
  3. The Power
  4. In Disguise
  5. AM Rut
  6. Can't Wait
  7. Strangely So
  8. Painting Portraits
  9. Did I See You
  10. Dream About It
  11. Come Home
  12. All In A Day
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 5

After last year's release of "The Three Points (EP)" on Germany's Grover Records by The Stingers ATX I wrote: This EP is a great teaser for a forthcoming full length follow up to "This Good Thing" and just over six months later, I'm listening to that successor, the long-time Stingers ATX' friend Victor Rice produced "All In A Day". And the new album does live up to my expectations. This might be attributed to the production by ska guru Victor Rice (more on him can be read in the review of The Moon Invaders album he also produced), but surely as much to the musicianship brought in by The Stingers ATX themselves. All original tunes, written by guitarplayer and leadsinger Johnny Meyers, with the exception of drummer Patrick Kelly's "Can't Wait" and the instrumental tune "Pickup" opening the album, that these two co-wrote with trombone and melodica player Wayne Myers. Their is something about their lyrics that I do like a lot, for example in the next song "Let's Be In Love" Let's Fool ourselves that we still care / Though times are dead and gone / And what was right is wrong / Let's Be In Love against their trademark backing of rocksteady blended with traditional ska, doo-wop and soul. The conscious It's what "The Power" do to you is delivered over a slower reggae beat, with a prominent role for the horns and the organ. More thoughtful lyrics in When all we have / are secrets and lies "In Disguise" over an uptempo ska beat. "AM Rut" is a great tune asking the preacher whether your life is better than mine while only one thing on the mind of the singer, repeated to the max Take me to the lady with the cheap perfume. The wonderful rocksteady lovesong "Can't Wait" is followed by the strange (pun intended) "Strangely So" with the clever Strangely so peculiar in my head / Strangely so I miss her like the old miss the dead, and the lyrically as much astonishing "Painting Portraits" in a doo-wop/rocksteady style, also bringing into memory the 80s 2 Tone harmonies of the Specials' first album. "Did I See You?" and "Dream About It" maintain the high level of both lyrics and music, in both tunes with an almost Elvis Costello-like vocal delivery. To everybody's surprise I suppose, "Come Home" is nothing more, but certainly nothing less than a fine lovesong. "All In A Day" has that immediately recognizable Victor Rice downtempo dubby melodica enhanced sound backing beautifully sung almost philosophic lyrics about time, to close off an album that surely fulfills the promise made by last year's "The Three Points (EP)".