All Time Low are one of those bands that stir emotion in anyone. Whether it’s intense fandom or uncontrollable hatred everyone has an opinion. As a fan since the Put Up Or Shut Up days I’ve seen their progression and journey from the tiny venues and unpopular EP’s to the arenas and chart topping anthemic singles. The new album, their fourth studio album, Don’t Panic has all the good elements from previous albums wrapped into one. I was doubtful as to whether it would be any good as it only seems like yesterday that Dirty Work was released so the hype for it wasn’t as massive as it has been for previous albums. When it comes down to it the time elapsed hasn’t altered the quality at all, it’s genuinely a great pop-punk record.
It opens with the first single from the record, ‘The Reckless and The Brave’, a great one to kick it off. Fast paced rhythm and whining guitars. I imagine this being played on a carnival float, Alex with a megaphone in hand shouting out the message to the whole world. The next single on the album is already my favourite titled ‘Backseat Serenade’. It has everything I love about All Time Low in it. Even after the first listen I wanted to hear it again and again. Another great track from the album would have to be ‘Outlines’. It has a more mature feel to it and features a guest vocalist (Jason Vena of Acceptance). It’s no wonder I like it, finding out it was co-wroet with Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump made automatic sense. Patrick Stumps song-writing abilities for the pop punk genre are somewhat unrivalled.
Despite loving this album as an entity, I can’t help but feel some of the lyrics are a little cringey. Having spoken to some life-long All Time Low fans, they feel similarly that perhaps they are outgrowing the band. Take ‘Somewhere in Neverland’ for example. Some of the lines are unbearable. “I wanna be your lost boy, your last chance” *sigh*. The album however does feel less rushed and like they’ve had more room as they’ve reverted back to their old label (Hopeless Records). It’s refreshing to see them playing around with a heavier vibe, with heavier guitar riffs and faster paced drum beats on the likes of ‘So Long Soldier’ and ‘The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver’ they’re leaning more towards the likes of A Day To Remember. Still Alex’s beautiful vocals bring it back to the pop punk we all know a love. Overall a success with a few kinks.
Don’t Panic is out now.