All Time Low makes sure fans Don’t Panic
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Artist: All Time Low
Album: Don’t Panic
Release Date: Oct. 9
Label: Hopeless Records
Time and time again, bands have moved from indie record labels to major ones in hopes of chasing their newfound fame – a fame that Baltimore pop-punk band All Time Low discovered it did not want.
Interscope Records used its power to take All Time Low’s signature style from 2007’s So Wrong, It’s Right to create 2011’s Dirty Work – a generic, lackluster pop record that was a literal all-time low.
In an attempt to bring back its original sound, All Time Low switched back to Hopeless Records for its fifth studio album, Don’t Panic. The album was released to high expectations, as rock music magazine Alternative Press called the album “All Time Low’s best work to date.”
Unfortunately, this statement is exaggerated. Don’t Panic is a solid album and doesn’t contain as many follies as Dirty Work, but in comparison to the first album that established All Time Low in the pop-punk genre, it falls flat.
Current singles “The Reckless And The Brave,” “Somewhere In Neverland” and “For Baltimore” all contain elements of what made All Time Low popular in the first place. Lead singer Alex Gaskarth’s vocals display growth, with catchy hooks and lyrics that match the success of past hits “Weightless” and “Dear Maria.”
“Long live the reckless and the brave/I don’t think I want to be saved/My song has not been sung/So long live us,” Gaskarth sings on “The Reckless And The Brave.”
“If These Sheets Were States,” uses the band’s metaphorical lyrics to illustrate the frustrations of having a long distance relationship. The relatable lyrics touch on missing a significant other and taking part in miniscule actions like folding your sheets towards you to fill that void and make for one of the most memorable songs on Don’t Panic.
The album progresses into more angst-filled territory – a new direction for All Time Low. “So Long Soldier,” featuring Anthony Raneri of Bayside, brings this angst effortlessly with an air of classic punk rock band Yellowcard.
However, “The Irony Of Choking On A Lifesaver” falls short and sounds as if it belongs on the band’s failed album, Dirty Work. The classic tongue-in-cheek approach that All Time Low fans crave is there but is easily forgotten due to generic pop chords.
The remainder of the album concentrates on the comeback of standard All Time Low with songs such as “Outlines,” produced by Fall Out Boy vocalist Patrick Stump. The track has nostalgic undertones of Fall Out Boy while still clinging to All Time Low’s style. The clapping in the bridge adds to the lyrics about not letting people pass you by without a second glance.
Both old and new All Time Low fans will appreciate Gaskarth and company’s migration back to their beginnings, and it will give hope that the boys will stay grounded this time around.
All Time Low is currently on tour and has a sold out show this Saturday in Rochester, N.Y.