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  15 Charismatic Wonders
Artist: All Access 
Label: Ionic Records
Length: 15 tracks/43:38

Another day, another punk band.  Someday I’m going to write a review of one of these groups without mentioning The Ramones.  This one isn’t it, though.  Like every other punk/pop act on the planet, All Access owes some of their sound to the fast, loud, repetitive guitar/bass/drum combo characterizing every band that has ever tried to emulate the punk ethic.

Themes of pride and the general struggle with sinfulness resonate throughout this disc.  “Give Away,” “Friend,” “Coming Back,” and “Start Me Over”  all deal with someone who has either fallen, or realized a problem in their own or someone else’s life, and the need for restoration that sin creates.  The opening track, “What I Want” details the singer walking a fine line between using the gifts God has given him and becoming overly impressed with the results:

 But I always think I’ll be
 The next big thing
 And I guess pride came over me
 Cause I end up wrong again
Relationships are another source of material here.  “A Lot to Learn," “Valentine,” “Little Things,” and “Feeling Low” all deal with the ways humans can aggravate and antagonize each other.  “One Special Night” speaks of the rewards a couple shares by waiting until their wedding night to consummate the physical part of their
love for each other.

“Legally Murdered” is a scathing indictment of abortion written from the point of view of the aborted baby.  It tells the mother not to make excuses for her actions, and places the blame on choices made prior to the actual event:

 I’m a victim of your good time
 Do you even realize
 The meaning of life
 No time for goodbye.
This CD is for fans of Material Issue (“It’s Up to You”) or, as mentioned earlier, The Ramones (“Friend”).  There is also some of the Green Day/Blink 182 style here as well. Lyrically, 15 Charismatic Wonders outshines either of those groups.

Brian A. Smith 8/23/2001


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