Breathing on the heals of the Plain White T’s meteoric rise into mainstream is Baltimore, Maryland’s pop punk quartet All Time Low, whose latest album So Wrong, It’s Right on Hopeless Records was produced by Matt Squire (Receiving End Of Sirens, Panic! At The Disco) and Paul Leavitt. The band has made strides in their Sugarcult-dipped punk and their Cartel-coated emo-rock. Their music has reflections of a number of power punk bands before them and shows a huge amount of youthful energy that a contemporary generation of rock fans can latch onto and relate to immediately. Like the energetic soft-punk bands who inspired All Time Low to play music, the foursome are no doubt inspiring a new generation of young musicians to make music in the pop punk field.
The fat riffs from guitarists Jack Barakat and lead singer Alex Gaskarth deliver bold dynamics on numbers like “This Is How We Do” and “Let It Roll” while the rhythm section of bassist Zack Merrick and drummer Rian Dawson inject heady surges into the movements. Tracks like “The Beach” and “Dear Maria” deliver juicy guitar segments and vocal splurges like Taking Back Sunday as “Shameless” and “Vegas” produce a catchy fun rock buoyancy and a mainstream-punk buzz with shadows of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Their songs “Six Feet Under The Stars” and “Come One, Come All” have engaging rhythmic action while “Remembering Sunday” integrates gentle acoustic-rock tones with a punk-rock arsenal of thick guitar flourishes and stocky drumbeats. The music is fat and jumps with a fervid buzz, totally designed for the audiences at the Vans Warped Tour.
With so many pop punk bands to choose from, it is hard to differentiate All Time Low’s sound from the others, though their album is definitely enjoyable and has a finesse for accruing great mounds of kinetic energy. All Time Low’s album is music that is relevant to today’s generation of rock fans. I can’t say that any of the tunes are destined to become a classic in the near future, but the songs are a batch of lively rock anthems for today’s generation. The songs give immediate gratification and have lasting power for as long as pop punk is the dominant flavor of rock music.
author: Susan Frances