This could have gone a number of ways. I still have the Basement Screams cassette, but started my NR obsession with Throb Throb. Plus, the b-side from the Vanilla Blue 7″ was an ode to Slim Pickens. For a good portion of my formative youth, these guys got me.

Anyhow, I had just been introduced to NR (by way of Throb Throb) when this one released, so I got to hear it along with all the other Chicago punks, brand new and fresh. All Rise was less silly, more caustic, and overall just bad ass. Peacemaker? Damn. I got to see them the next year (I think) for one of my very first shows, and obviously, my mind was completely blown. Granted, I had very little to compare them to, but the Cabaret Metro was full, kids were flying around, Pierre was punishing that 4-string, and Jeff Pezzatti made us all the lead singer. All Rise reminds me of all of that.

Oh, and I think I got the record at Rolling Stone Records, which adds another layer to the whole memory thing. That place was awesome. Pre-The Turntable and driver’s license, it was conveniently located near a mall, so not too hard to get a ride. Nothing more punk than having your mom drop you off at the door of R&R nirvana.

It’s possible that for older kids and purists, this record was the demarcation point for Naked Raygun jumping the shark, but to me, it’s their peak. The shows were as energetic as any I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot), and it was one of the last original runs with the original band (at least original to when I came aboard the NR wagon). Basically, this record was the shit, and it still holds up today.