Much to my delight, nearly all of my favourite bands are releasing new music this year! A couple of weeks ago, All Time Low dropped their fifth (technically sixth, but since you can’t find a physical copy of 2005’s The Party Scene, I tend to ignore it) album and it’s just as good as their past efforts. I would describe this overall as a cross between 2009’s Nothing Personal and 2011’s Dirty Work and below I’ve presented my thoughts on each track.
Favourite lyric: We were just kids singing
This is an excellent opener and has a bit of an anthemic quality to it. I love how it starts slow and builds up until you’re practically screaming the last few lines. Apparently ATL have been opening their live shows with this song, and I can only imagine how pumped the fans get.
2) “Kicking & Screaming”
Favourite lyric: I’m chasing after rock n’ roll
I personally love how aggressive Alex sounds in this song. It’s bold and brash and absurdly catching.
3) “Something’s Gotta Give”
Favourite lyric: Wake me up, say “enough is enough”, I’m dying to live, something’s gotta give
This was the first taste we received of new ATL back in February, and I think it still holds up as one of my favourite tracks. As I mentioned when it came out, people complained that they didn’t like ATL’s “new direction”, but this song, to me, is the logical and natural progression for the band.
4) “Kids in the Dark”
Favourite lyric: They left us alone, the kids in the dark, to burn out forever, or light up a spark
Another single that was released in March, this one grew on me. I liked it fine to begin with and now, after listening to it for the umpteenth time, it’s a great sing-a-long song.
Favourite lyric: They will have to find some other hearts to break
I think I listened to this song once before the album officially dropped and most people were comparing it to The Killers’ “When You Were Young”. I can sort of see where they got that idea from, but I don’t think it’s so similar that you would get the two mixed up.
It’s probably not among my top five faves on the album, but this is still vintage All Time Low.
6) “Missing You”
Favourite lyric: Paint the walls black and scream “fuck the world”, ’cause it’s my life, I’m gonna take it back
THIS SONG is one of my favourites. I don’t know what it is about it that I love so much, but it seeps into my bones – especially when the bass kicks in – and makes me stop whatever I’m doing to sing along.
7) “Cinderblock Garden”
Favourite lyric: Let’s take the worst and make it better
If I said this on a music fan site (like absolutepunk or propertyofzack), I’d probably be stoned, but honestly, this song reminds me of a 5 Seconds of Summer song, especially the beginning. Before you lambaste me, please note that I a) have been a fan of ATL for 8 years and will lovingly support them until my dying day and b) I actually quite like 5SOS, so it’s not an insult (plus, Alex Gaskarth wrote with 5SOS, so it makes sense that they’d have a similar style, right?).
That being said, it’s not actually my favourite song. I can appreciate the musical aspect and Alex’s voice is, as always, gorgeous, but despite the pretty lyrics, it just makes me feel “meh”. It does get stuck in my head quite a bit, though, so I probably like it more than I think I do (if that makes sense).
8) “Tidal Waves”
Favourite lyric: You sharpen words to use like knives, when you lose your cover, there’ll be nothing left
This song makes me think of blink-182, but that’s literally because of Mark Hoppus’ verse. It’s the closest thing to a ballad on this album and I generally enjoy ATL’s slow songs, so of course I like this one. Again, Alex’s voice = beautiful.
9) “Don’t You Go”
Favourite lyric: Settle back now and raise a toast, to the young ones growing old
The beginning of this song reminds me of blink too (or maybe even Simple Plan?), and while that could be because of it’s proximity to “Tidal Waves”, I also think it’s because of its playful, bouncy vibe. I’ll bet this is a fun one to hear live.
10) “Bail Me Out”
Favourite lyric: Will you catch me when I fall?
To me, this is one of the filler tracks. Standard, boppy ATL (shout out to Joel Madden of Good Charlotte!), but nothing too outstanding. I can’t even remember what it sounds like when I’m not listening to it.
11) “Dancing With a Wolf”
Favourite lyric: Fool me once, it’s shame on you, fool me twice and let the wolves come crashing through
I’ve named this one “my jam” (for this album). It’s not exactly what you’d expect from ATL – it almost has an early Fall Out Boy vibe – but it’s fun and dancey and gah, I just love it so much.
12) “The Edge of Tonight”
Favourite lyric: You’re the beat playing in my heart
Similar to “Bail Me Out” where I can’t bring it to mind. It fits with the overall tone of the album, but it does feel more like a filler (which is fine – you can’t expect every song to be the BEST SONG EVER).
13) “Old Scars/Future Hearts”
Favourite lyric: We’ve got scars on our future hearts, but we never look back, no, we never look back
I love this as a closer. It brings the same energy as “Satellite”, the guitars are on point, and while it has a bit more of an aggressive vibe, I think it’s one of the strongest, most cohesive tracks on the album.
I bought the deluxe edition with the bonus tracks: “Bottle and a Beat” and “Your Bed”, neither of which I LOVE (with a capital L-O-V-E), but still appreciate and if you’re a hardcore ATL fan like me, they’re worth checking out.