As Basement Noise, the closing track on Wake Up, Sunshine, deftly reaches its dreamy, nostalgic end, Alex Gaskarth and his bandmates are left singing a cappella: ‘Just stupid boys making basement noise in the basement.’ It’s the perfect note on which to conclude All Time Low’s eighth album for a number of reasons. For one, it’s a literal – albeit self-deprecating – statement about the making of the record, with the quartet collectively joining forces under the same roof to live and breathe this music together for the first time in years. But even more importantly, it charmingly captures the mood of Wake Up, Sunshine as a whole: thoughtful, light-hearted and, yes, even a little bit sentimental.
What becomes more clear as the rest of Wake Up, Sunshine plays out, though, is that All Time Low are both fine-tuning what has always made them so great, but also dabbling with new ideas. Trouble Is plays with an experimental time signature, while January Gloom (Seasons, Pt. 1) boasts a genuine attitude from Alex as he confronts his winter blues and admits he’s ‘A victim of the season / Need a better reason to be miserable.’ On Monsters, meanwhile, hip-hop star blackbear provides a powerful rapped second verse in what is arguably the most interesting, genre-defying collaboration the band have ever worked on. We can presumably thank both Alex and Jack’s non-pop-punk side-projects Simple Creatures and WhoHurtYou for that.
Indeed, these brief stints away from the band have benefitted them enormously, and the overwhelming feeling you’re left with after hearing the likes of Clumsy, Favorite Place (featuring The Band CAMINO) and Wake Up, Sunshine’s title-track is that All Time Low are on the form of their career here. Not only that, but it’s a feeling that doesn’t wear off, and such is the enthusiasm contained within, this is an album that will bring joy to its listeners time and time again. Long may these ‘stupid boys making basement noise’ keep doing what they’re doing.
author: Emily Carter