Released: May 4, 1999
Label: Fueled by Ramen
By: Shannyn Bissett
The Impossibles were a four-piece '90s indie/ska/punk band based in Austin, Texas. Their style is reminiscent of early Weezer, with more ska guitar riffs, more horns, and slightly heavier vocals. Their album Anthology '94-'98, as the title suggests, is a compilation of the band's first self-titled CD and Back 4 the Attack! EP, plus other demo tracks recorded between 1994 and 1998. It was released under the Fueled by Ramen record label in May 1999 while the band was on hiatus.
From the first line of the intro track ("Hi, we're The Impossibles from Austin, Texas!"), a continuous energy streams throughout the album, drawing the listener in and taking them on a sort of journey through the band's musical history. This album is definitely not without the catchy off-the-beat ska riffs, but it has more going for it than just catchiness. Lead vocalists/guitarists Rory Phillips and Gabe Hascall compliment each other harmonically, despite their differing vocal styles.
Many bands tend to write about the typical things experienced in life that most of their audience can relate to: love and heartbreak, and The Impossibles are no different with this album. Though it's hard to deny that many of their songs follow the standard lyrical formula lots of bands tend to stand by, what sets The Impossibles apart from the rest are their clever and thoughtful verses, while keeping their songs fun and catchy. And of course the occasional nerd-esque reference is pretty amusing.
When The Impossibles briefly reunited, they decided to take their sound in a different direction, feeling they had developed beyond the simple ska riffs, but the Anthology album still stands as a reminder of the lightheartedness of youth and fulfilling the dream of rocking out in a band and writing about relationships. Fans of the two-tone/ska, or pop-punk genres, or just catchy music in general, would enjoy this album.