All Time Low are a band that have integrated themselves into the alternative music scene deeply and do a cracking job at breaking down the walls between the mainstream and alternative scenes. Whether you’re a fan or not, you have to respect the hard work and dedication these boys have put into carving a career for themselves and their new album Last Young Renegade is testament to this.
The album opens with the title track Last Young Renegade which is a great introduction into the newer, more mature sound the band have. It maintains that All Time Low vibe that fans have grown to expect from the band while also introducing the new synth elements and new level of production that is typical for FBR bands and these are a continuous theme throughout the album. The song has a vaguely disappointing chorus, but it’s catchy and will make you sing along – it’s classic ATL but lacks that sparkle that makes it single worthy and something special.
Dirty Laundry is the lead single from the album and for good reason. The chorus is massive and relatable in a sense you could easily see it happening to you, but you’ve not necessarily experienced it first hand – the second hand empathy helps make the song so relatable. The use of vocals and added production throughout the song is what makes this tack so hypnotic to listen to and it’s a new direction for the band, and one that they have worked to the bone. They have kept that ATL vibe while making it fresh and exciting with new elements, like vocal sampling and electronic drums as a more consistent theme. Vocalist Alex shows off the power of his voice as the song reaches its climax where everything glues together and reminds you that this is in fact a rock band with electronic elements – not an electronic band with rock elements. Also, you can never go wrong with a cheeky guitar solo from guitarist Jack, and despite it lacking a certain depth of complexity, it works well and that is far more important then writing a solo with thirty-six-thousand notes in twenty seconds.
Life Of the Party is a song that experiments more with the electronic sound with less distorted guitars and acoustic drums, and the harmonies in the chorus and vocal production in the verses are really cool, adding a little bit of needed sparkle. The song touches on issues insongwriter Alex’s life of not necessarily liking who he is/was and feeling lost which a large portion of the bands fan base could and probably do relate to. Meanwhile, Nice2KnoU is arguably the heaviest song on the album and the drums in particular sound massive. The toms and use of the hi-hat in particular sound great and really build the song into the high paced song that is, and the distorted guitar and bass brings the energy that Last Young Renegade could have used.
All Time Low have followed the suit of fellow Pop-Punk bands like Paramore and Panic at The Disco and opted to be a little bit more commercial by ditching their distortion pedals and getting a record deal with Fueled By Ramen, but this isn’t a bad thing, as the album is mostly killer with only a little filler. They’ve managed to keep that All Time Low sound that has defined their career while also introducing new elements and mixing it up a bit – they’ve innovated and it’s paid off. Let’s just hope the band don’t fall into a rut and don’t continue to innovate with their next album.