20 Years of The All-American Rejects

One of many bands that reached its peak in the pop-rock era that was the ‘00s is turning 20 years old this year, and just a few days ago they’ve released a new EP. The All-American Rejects have come back…


Jorge Ramos


Posted on August 5, 2019

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One of many bands that reached its peak in the pop-rock era that was the ‘00s is turning 20 years old this year, and just a few days ago they’ve released a new EP. The All-American Rejects have come back and are still rocking as they’ve always had, but with quite a couple of twists that are quite interesting. First, we have to remind ourselves in case you forgot what this band has done over the years.


The band was founded during the year 1999 by Nick Wheeler (Lead Guitar) and Tyson Ritter (Vocalist), while both of them were in high school,  growing as composers, and there were  many changes in their line-up, the group managed to make a Demo, and then an EP that caught the attention of Doghouse Record Label, There was a lot of pressure, as they stated at this interview by Toledoblade back in 2007.

They Released their Homonym album in 2002 under Doghouse, and a year later they re-released it under the Dreamworks Record Label. On the second time, they absolutely killed it with Platinum certifications both in the US and Canada, with singles such as “Swing, Swing” reaching top 10 on the charts in America and participating in the Vans Warped Tour. It was the time of Pop-Punk and Emo-Rock.

Then came to Move Along in 2005, and they made it big time, again, accompanied by bands like Blink-182. “Dirty Little Secret” one of the bands most famous songs, reached No. 8 on the US Billboard Top 100, the album was certified double platinum in the US.

In 2008 and after the winds started to drift in the music industry with Pop-punk and even rock in general in the way out, The band’s new album When The World Comes Down, did quite good, being certified Gold in the US, and releasing the song that would become their most successful hit so far “Gives You Hell”, single that reached No. 4 in the US Billboard Top 100.

If you are a sports fan, especially if you like playing with NFL playoff favorites, you might remember some of the tuns of the Rejects sounds in the Madden soundtracks. The EA game featured their song Night Drive in the 06 edition of the game and Real World in Madden NFL 09. They also appeared in KONAMI’s Pro Evolution Soccer franchise, in 2010, with Dirty Little Secret.

But, at the same time, critics started to appear, especially seeing that the band was caught in a transition stage for music. In the New York Times, they went all out on them calling out Ritter, saying that “What they’ve got is good instincts for verse-versus-chorus songwriting; hormones; and a crucial pinch of smugness”.


The band spent a couple of years touring until in 2011 they decided to definitely jump into the new Alternative Rock wave, with still some drops of power pop in the mix, with the album Kids In The Street, The synth-filled Homonym song of the album is the best proof of it. The band barely reached the US Billboard top 200.

Years later and with some festivals on the way the band has dropped a couple of songs here and there, first with the EP Sweat (2017) with 2 songs, the prelude to what would be Send Her To Heaven, released in 2019, with a more alternative, and rockier version of themselves.

The title track, that already has a video that you must see, has us take a look at a girl called Molly whose best friend are Adderall and other drugs. And on the third track the chorus is Cause I’m running from my demons/They keep on chasing, but no one can see them/Is this the real life? Feels like a museum/There’s no turning back. Imagine that with dark echoes and obscure synths.

Send Her to Heaven has proofed us that time takes time, Rock as hell and experimental as they should’ve been talking about mental health, drugs, and not giving an “F”, with the strings at a sordid volume, with the same vocals in a different ambient. The All-American Rejects, working with Epitaph Records, are planning something really good.

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