The Ataris have produced several full-length recordings of relatively cookie-cutter pop-punk. Taking more influence from mainstream alternative acts than the punk artists they tour with, the Ataris were discovered by Vandals founder Joe Escalante in early 1997, after songwriter Kris Roe met him at a Vandals concert. Impressed by the his demo tape, Escalante asked Roe to put together a full band and record for his label, Kung-Fu Records. Roe picked up and moved to California in search of bandmates, and eventually added guitarist Marco Peña, bassist Mike Davenport, and former Lagwagon drummer Derrick Plourde. Plourde was later replaced by new drummer Chris Knapp. The newly-formed Ataris made their first record Anywhere but Here for Kung-Fu Records, and soon came to the notice of Fat Wreck Chords owner Fat Mike.
Realizing the opportunity to move to a stronger, better-grounded label, the Ataris willingly signed to Fat Wreck. They quickly issued an EP, Look Forward to Failure, produced by several members of the Descendants. Early in 1999, the band released their second full-length album, Blue Skies, Broken Hearts... Next 12 Exits. After the album's release, they toured with MxPx, Blink 182, and Homegrown before issuing Let It Burn in 2000. End Is Forever followed in 2001, after which the Ataris made the leap to the majors with 2003's So Long, Astoria on Columbia. ~ David Cornelius, All Music Guide