Since taking time out to focus on their personal lives and respective side-projects, Baltimore pop-punks All Time Low are back at it again with their eighth full-length, ‘Wake Up, Sunshine’.
Lead single and anthemic opener ‘Some Kind Of Disaster’ showcases All Time Low sounding the best they have in years. It’s mature pop-punk whilst still producing those infectiously catchy hooks that has become such an integral part of their now 17-year long career.
The titular track perfectly sums up this new era that the band are entering. It feels like they’ve dusted off the darker experimental past of 2017’s ‘Last Young Renegade’, allowing ‘Wake Up, Sunshine’ to emerge into this refreshingly new and exciting phase.
The record offers up some highly impressive collaborations; ‘Monsters’ features rapper blackbear, and, although the thought of the two genres combining might not be to everyone’s taste, it’s surprisingly one of the album’s standout moments. It shows a new side to the band mixing up this popular contemporary option whilst still retaining their signature sound.
Secondly, ‘Favorite Place’ features The Band CAMINO, and is a much more pop-infused love song where the blend of Alex Gaskarth‘s and Jeffrey Jordan‘s vocals work seamlessly together.
If there’s anything All Time Low are renowned for, it’s their ability to create songs that translate to live shows perfectly and naturally, and this album is no different. ‘Safe’ offers up an impressive drop into a feel-good chorus, whereas ‘Glitter And Crimson’, although a much more stripped back ballad with some mildly questionable rhyming of supernova and four-leaf clover, is an idyllic sing-along track which will without a doubt be a hit with fans.
Working alongside one another to bring attention to Gaskarth‘s first experience with seasonal depression are ‘January Gloom’ and ‘Summer Haze’. The former deals with the misery that the weather can impact on your mental health and wanting the season to be over, whilst the latter, with its distorted pop guitar riffs (very reminiscent of a Simple Creatures sound) flips this situation and instead desperately tries to cling onto the feel-good summer weather.
Although they’ve made such an impressive comeback, the band have still retained this quintessential All Time Low pop-punk sound that both old and new fans alike will adore. ‘Getaway Green’, a track which was debuted almost a year ago at Slam Dunk Festival, along with ‘Clumsy’ encompass the style and tone of tracks you’d have found on 2009’s ‘Nothing Personal’. It acts as a nice nod to long standing fans without feeling like they’re regressing their sound.
Closing the album, ‘Basement Noise’ is full of sentimentality, and it doesn’t take long to work out this is about their humble beginnings of after school band practises. The song’s highlight lays in the final moments with no instruments, and just the lyrics “Just stupid boys making basement noise in the basement”, lingering on this really poignant moment for both the band and fans alike.
‘Wake Up, Sunshine’ provides a breath of fresh air, combining this feeling of teenage summer vibes without ever coming across as cheesy or immature. They’ve taken all the right elements of pop-punk and in turn have created a straight-up feel good comeback album. It’s safe to say that All Time Low have never sounded so good.
author: Stevie Blackburn