Review: The All-American Rejects – ‘Sweat’

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It's summery, it's sexy - it's the comeback from the hiatus you never even knew happened.

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There’s always been something categorically summery about the work of The All-American Rejects. Be it from their inception into the pop-punk stratosphere from 1999 onward, with ‘Swing, Swing’ and ‘Dirty Little Secret’, or their later widespread success with hits like ‘Gives You Hell’ and 2012’s divisive ‘Beekeeper’s Daughter,’ the Oklahoma-born band’s sound has never strayed too far from their costive emotional sensibilities and sweeping, sugary hooks. And now, over five years after Kids In The Street, the boys are finally back with ‘Sweat,’ the bold lead single from their 2-song Sweat EP; a low-hanging, lively track that gloriously announces the group’s return.

If there’s anything that rock fans have come to hate, it’s the term ‘hiatus’. From Fall Out Boy to My Chemical Romance to Blink 182, some of these generously publicized vacations have ended more fortunately than others, but ‘Sweat’ (‘Close Your Eyes’ makes up Sweat’s second half) marks the benefits of TAAR’s largely anonymous retreat from the limelight. Speaking to Billboard, frontman Tyson Ritter opened up about the band’s break, saying “The last five years […] has been us finally putting our feet into our own earth and going, ‘Oh, what’s life like without this thing we think is defining us?’” And it’s lucky that they did.

Delving into solo projects, focusing on relationships, and touching on other creative outlets (Ritter tried his hand at acting); the past five years has done some good for The Rejects. ‘Sweat’ shines above the band’s discography, noticeably more mature and far tighter than their earlier work and that of their pop-punk peers in recent months. Reminiscent of the blissfully heedless ‘Gives You Hell’ era, it nevertheless dives headfirst into the band’s looming evolution with an anthemic chorus that feels outrageously bold, but doesn’t skimp on the sugary hook. Considering such a dazzling return, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the past five summers without The All-American Rejects – I find it hard to believe they ever went away at all.

Sweat is out now via Interscope Records

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Third year Film and English student living in D.C., self-proclaimed go-to Edge expert on Cloverfield, Fall Out Boy, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Loves mostly those three things.

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