All Time Low have a lot of people to convince. Named after a New Found Glory song and with a sound very reminiscent of Blink-182 and Green Day; many write them off as a copycat act. Last year’s Dirty Work was an attempt by ATL to break out of this norm but received little success. A return to Hopeless Records for their 5th album has sparked a revival of their old sound but is it going to change those that aren’t already devoted?
In a word: no. That’s not to say that this is a bad album. In fact, it has several stand out tracks. ‘For Baltimore’ starts off with Alex Gaskarth’s best Billie Joe Armstrong impression but breaks out into a huge and catchy chorus. ‘Backseat Serenade’ is destined to be their next big single and ‘So Long, Soldier’ is the heaviest song written by the band (not that that’s saying much mind) with a riff to bang your head to. The same criticisms are still present though. ‘Outlines’ was written with Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump which is probably why it sounds so much like Folie à Deux era FOB. The various comparions between artists aren’t enough to ruin the album but they do distract slightly.
By far the stand out track is ‘Somewhere in Neverland’ which is proof that All Time Low do have their own sound. Quick fire drums lead into the album’s biggest chorus which showcases that when ATL get it right, they can be amongst the best in the current pop-punk scene. One thing that All Time Low don’t seem to get enough credit for is their ability to write songs for the live show; ‘Somewhere in Neverland’ is certain to become a part of their set for years to come.
Overall, this is a good album but it’s largely what you would expect from an All Time Low release. Some great songs and some okay songs that aren’t going to set the world alight. Don’t listen too much to the copycat criticism – this is still an enjoyable record and easily eclipses Dirty Work. If you’re not convinced by now, you probably never will be; but for everyone else, this is going to be filling your ears for months to come.