There’s always something intricate involving a non-mainstream punk outfit upgrading to a major label. Bring Me The Horizon did it when they moved over to Columbia with That’s The Spirit. Or rather, when All Time Low themselves left Hopeless Records for Interscope (which, for the record, was not a bad album). This time they’ve done it again; making a break out of the emo scene for Fueled By Ramen who’ve hosted bands like Paramore, Panic! At the Disco, twenty one pilots, and even started the success of Fall Out Boy.
All Time Low albums are always difficult to compare to one another since the band hasn’t released an iconic album other than Nothing Personal. Clearly Don’t Panic feels more like a “greatest hits” work than a full release and combines many of the band’s best qualities. Dirty Work and Future Hearts turned a lot of people off in that they both feel like try-hard escapes to mainstream stardom. So where does that leave All Time Low in Last Young Renegade a decade after their first classic breakout album, So Wrong, It’s Right? Good question.
The album begins with the obvious pop-punk thrill, “Last Young Renegade.” It’s clear why Last Young Renegade kicks off with the title track. Though the song doesn’t define the record at all, it’s full of reminders as to why fans fell in love with them in the first place; easily singable lyrics, pop verses sure to strike a chord. Though every verse in “Drugs & Candy” makes the song easily submissive, the chorus makes the song flat-out boring; repeatedly singing “you and me are like drugs and candy” only makes the song sound more like a Katy Perry single and less like anything on this album.
“Dirty Laundry” serves as the lead single on this album, which had so many fans unenthused at first providing that it is one of the most blandly-produced songs the band has ever released. The song, though, isn’t bad, and also makes sense when listening to the record in full, as it sets up the following, “Good Times,” that could very well be the best song from All Time Low. “Nice2KnoU” uses the same catchy pop-punk algorithm as the title track, but the only aspect I didn’t like was the lame song title. “Life Of The Party” is unusually bad for an All Time Low song and might as well be the only song I didn’t like.
Frontman Alex Gaskarth describes Last Young Renegade as a personal record, but it isn’t until the seventh song that the band gets super deep and emotional. That’s where my favorite song on the album comes in. “Nightmares” is absolutely incredible and one of the most relatable/self-help-styled songs the band has released since “Therapy.” Near the end, the band gets help from Tegan and Sara in “Ground Control” and closing with “Afterglow.” Last Young Renegade showcases All Time Low at their highest point in their musical career as Alex Gaskarth has clearly improved within his vocals and their new sound blends their pop-punk talents with a techno-ish, electronic feeling to seem familiar yet, at the same time, new. New music is supposed to be new, and we are reminded of that.
All Time Low – Last Young Renegade
Release: June 2, 2017 – Fueled By Ramen
Rating: 10/10 – Brad LaPlante
Replay: “Last Young Renegade,” “Good Times,” “Nightmares”
Buy it, Stream it, or Skip it?: Buy it. This could very well be All Time Low’s best work and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.