All Time Low

Last Young Renegade

Written by: TL on 24/06/2017 14:24:19

So here's what you imagine happened: Sometime after breaking through to radio rock status and Warped Tour fame in the 00's pop-punk craze, Baltimore's All Time Low probably took a moment to realise that all their rock star dreams had come through, and then decided that being a successful musician isn't such a bad way to make a living. So they got smart about it. They identified their core audience, they identified what tropes and tricks work well live and they worked out how the music industry functions and studied up on the finer points of conventional songwriting.

Fast forward to now, 12 years into their career and All Time Low is the definition of a well-oiled machine, having just released their seventh album "Last Young Renegade". The 'Last' part of the title is the interesting part, however, because as the band members close in on thirty, you have to wonder how much longer they can put out music that's so clearly tailored for the younger consumers.

Musically speaking, the 'punk' component has all but been left out on "Last Young Renegade". There's a bit of their usual Jimmy Eat World inspiration in "Nice2KnoU", but that song otherwise sounds like something they could write half asleep and left-handed, so it's more an exception than a track that defines the record. Instead it's down-tempo pop-rock with sentimental electronic ambiance that's the order of the day, and there's a pervasive wistful tone to the record that feels like little big drama; Like a high school graduation, or the summer before moving away to a different city - the euphoric dramas of youth that seem so monumental up close but really end up just being the intro chapters once you look back on life years later.

It's easy to imagine then, that the record will be a cherished soundtrack in teenage bedrooms around the world, and equally easy to imagine that more mature listeners will all but completely ignore it. Because what's at stake lyrically seems so trivial with perspective, and despite All Time Low's seamless songsmithing, the ten tunes on here are safe as houses. They don't throw you any surprises, they don't really do anything out of the ordinary with the mesh of pop-rock and electronics, and what's worse is, they too rarely convince you in spite of this, with a can't-be-argued with hook like those of a prior highlights like "Time Bomb", "Love Like War" or "Weightless".

Leading single "Dirty Laundry" does prove to be deceptively infectious, and both "Last Young Renegade" and "Life Of The Party" have some sticky bits, while "Nightmares" is a nice little showcase of how well Alex Gaskarth sings. But to say any of it sweeps you off your feet or really rekindles interest in what the band is up to these days is a bit of a stretch. You have to wonder whether the band will eventually use their skills to do something with either a little more depth or a little more innovation, or if they are going to stay contently frozen forever in that moment where the confetti drops over someone's prom party.

Download: Dirty Laundry, Last Young Renegade, Nightmares
For The Fans Of: Simple Plan, You Me At Six, We The Kings

Release date 02.06.2017
Fueled By Ramen

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