Although it's an odd choice for a lead single, if you don't like it immediately, it does grows on you. Eventually.
Having strung followers along with mysterious images and cryptic video across social media, All Time Low‘s covert fun and games turned out to be for a new album (Last Young Renegade), a new label (Fueled By Ramen), and a new single that frontman Alex Gaskarth told BBC Radio 1 listeners “felt like…the right song to put out first,” although you’d be forgiven for not thinking it on first listen. His vocals melt through quiet strums for a strong start that, soon enough, returns to the traditional brand, with their classic escapist roots channelling through the rippling vocals (“Dirty laundry is piling in her room / She’s got her secrets / Yeah, I got mine too”) and the soft guitar. Meandering to some sort of peak through a perfectly solid verse, it comes as quite the surprise when the chorus hits with little more than a vague sense of colourless insipidity. With no words, no flavour, and a whole lot of repetition, this isn’t your average pop-punk record.
One thing ‘Dirty Laundry’ revels in is Gaskarth himself. Without spritely riffs as the band has done so well before, his vocals glide through the duration, ranging from gentle growls of low notes to determined, biting highs at the close. Gaskarth very much leaves the rest of the band in the backseat, bringing to mind their 2011 effort ‘A Daydream Away’ minus the acoustic guitars and naïve longing. Instead, ‘Dirty Laundry’ suggests a darker, more evolved All Time Low – and one which may not please those alienated by the new sound, crisp as it is. Saints may never make mistakes, according the boys, but maybe the band has indulged in a few with the new music that’s been two years in the making. Here’s hoping the biggest mistake of all was releasing ‘Dirty Laundry’ as the first single.
‘Dirty Laundry’ is out now via Fueled By Ramen