First, a little backstory of my personal experience with this CD. It was the first CD I ever went out and bought. I was in 6th grade and bugged my dad until he took me to Best Buy. This was the only CD to be taken away from me (via the "FUCK OFF!" in "Teenage Riot"). This CD was playing the first time I got a girlfriend. The last track, "Hello and Goodbye", was playing during my first kiss. "Summer Wind..." became the first break-up song I understood. I must say... this was a great CD to start off adolesence.
The Ataris in general: We are pop punk/emo/rock/country/post-punk/pop-punk/ can't make up our freakin' minds what we are. A little bit of hardcore and this could be mistaken for a comp. While most bands like that have problems, the Ataris have constant girl-song lyrics in common, and some ultra-cool pop punk riffs that keep everything in order.
Its starts off strong, and a bit angry, with "Giving Up on Love" and stays heavy until "Road Signs and Rock Songs" where it slows down a bit. Kris Roe has edgy, rough vocals, but, like most things on this record, its hard to notice unless you are truely listening. There is so much shit going on with the guitars it's not even funny. Listen to how many and how fast the riffs are, I dare you. There is not a second without some catchy overlay guitar. There is also an unjustified amount of keyboard and synth in this record. While you might notice it, there is. Try to find the keyboard in "Mix Tape." It'll provide hours of fun.
This record provides a good mix of girl songs, close-to-emo breakup songs, and fun songs."Song for A Mix Tape" has some out of place country inspired guitar, which seems good at the moment, but after the song ends you'll think "What the hell was that?" In some later tracks there is a nostalgia theme, and a generally slower pace. It ends with "Hello and Goodbye," a great acoustic song for a band like this.
There isn't much keeping this record from a 10. Some out of place riffs and general sloppiness keeps it at a 9. But, wow, maybe its should get a better score.