So after the success of the 2015 album Future Heart, the American pop punk band, All Time Low, release their 7th studio album, Last Young Renegade. It will be released on the Fueled by Ramen record label, which houses bands such as, Paramore and Twenty One Pilots.
Their latest album was produced by a number of different producers with the likes of Blake Harnage, who is best known for working with the band PVRIS, to Andrew Goldstein, who has worked with many bands from Simple Plan to Linkin Park, and also co-wrote All Time Low’s single, “Something’s Gotta Give” off the last record.
This isn’t their best record, but, it’s fun for the most part. Last Young Renegade moves towards more of a going for more pop then punk direction, that a lot of bands have followed recently. Using more reverb and electric sounds in their new songs, it’s a really good change with more dark subject matters.
So, the album starts off with “Last Young Renegade,” with reverbed picky guitar melody that drives most of the songs on the album. This builds up to a really catchy pop punk style chorus and is a lot more like what we are used to and love about All Time Low.
With the chorus line, “you were my last young renegade heartache / It only took one night, Caught in the eye of a hurricane, darling, We had to say goodbye“, it’s going to get stuck in your head just like Alex Gaskarth‘s vocals. With great energy and momentum. it’s a strong start to the album.
In “Drugs & Candy“, a more poppy track with simple drums and a slower build, the chorus is very catchy. On the line “You and me are like drugs & candy“, you can clearly hear Gaskarth’s dark tones in the bridge and a heavy use of reverb.
This same formula continues on the next track, “Dirty Laundry,” that has a very similar layout to “Drugs & Candy.” It never really picks up until the bridge which has a very nice reverb guitar solo. Then it hits us in the last chorus that showcases the energy of Gaskarth’s voice.
Following on, frankly speaking, “Good Times,” isn’t the most fun track on the album. For some reason, the track doesn’t offer anything special. Yet again, it has the same simple drums and the same structure as the earlier tracks on the album sadly making it forgettable.
But, in “Nice2KnoU,” All Time Low revert back to their pop punk roots with an awesome guitar riff and cool drum groove that leads to the catchy chorus line, “So long, so nice to know ya, Nice to know ya I’m sorry to say“. With such nice and straight up rock elements, Gaskarth’s vocals feel more at home in this song.
Next, the band moves on to a more club type song with “Life Of The Party.” Yet again, it has that simple formation found on the earlier tracks of the album, but, when the chorus arrives, the song really picks up.
Alex vocals really lifts “Life Of The Party” as the track speak about being fed up with partying over the years. This is reflected in the line, “All these people are passed out, On the floor in my hotel room, I don’t know half of them, But they all wanna know me“.
Then, we get to “Nightmares,” which really shows off a darker tone to the record, going for a more picky reverbed guitar melody that runs throughout the whole song. I love the bridge and the way the synth guitar bends around the track and how it leads back into the last chorus. The only down side, yet again, is its simple formation, which, by this point, has become very repetitive.
But, the chorus line, “Now there’s a ghost in the back of this room and I don’t like it“, really stands out. A similar layout to, “Dark Side Of Your Room,” it has more energy and another addictive chorus. “Ground Control,” featuring Tegan and Sara, really adds something different and their vocals work really well with the chorus. However, the song doesn’t bring anything new.
The album ends well with the final track, “Afterglow.” A nice upbeat track, the synths and effect works great in creating an atmosphere. It is here where Gaskarth’s vocals shine, more than anything other track on the album.
Overall, I did enjoy this album despite some of its problem, such as, repeating the same layouts and lack of instrumentation in some of the songs. I like the blend of guitar and electric sounds, even though a lot of bands now seem to be doing a similar thing, but, it work really well and showcases their maturity compared to their last record.
The standout tracks are “Last Young Renegade”, “Nice2KnoU” and “Nightmares”. You should definitely check this album out.
All Time Low Last Young Renegade is out now and available via Fueled By Ramen. Purchase it on iTunes here.
Words by Stuart Irvine