The short version: Dave Smalley is credited with imbuing punk/hardcore (particularly as mouthpiece for Dag Nasty and the long-running Down By Law) a melodic prowess that left an impression on thousands of listeners, many of whom started their own bands. Some have defined him as a proponent of "posi-core" (positive hardcore) given the routinely chin-up sentiments that have colored much of his prolific songwriting. The A-side to this single, "Don't Look Down" is a more than perfect example, and very much in league with the rest of his melodicore endeavors in the bands mentioned above. In fact, his work has been so consistent and admirable, one is apt to forgive him for being a Republican.
A. Don't Look Down