All Time Low – Last Young Renegade
Released: 2nd June 2017
Alex Gaskarth | Lead Vocals/ Rhythm Guitarist
Jack Barakat | Lead Guitarist
Rian Dawson | Drums
Zachary Merrick | Bass Guitarist
In a time of early 2000’s emo bands making the leap to pop music; All Time Low successfully achieves the transition without polarizing their fan base, in a well-balanced ode to the life of a young adult. All Time Low present their 7th studio album Last Young Renegade; a nostalgia filled, personal feeling record, that you probably shouldn’t listen to on public transport because you’re going to want to dance.
Let’s break this down track by track
Title track ‘Last Young Renegade‘ feels the most like ATL’s previous work; an upbeat rhythm, melodic guitars and a chorus that is perfect for singing slightly too loud in the shower, before your roommate gets home. The uplifting feel sets a tone for the record and earns its position as both single and title track, without question. You’ll want to be prepared for ‘Drugs & Candy’. This song builds so incredibly well that you have to listen to it twice to completely understand the 3 and a half minute journey you were just taken on. A particular highlight is Alex Gaskarth‘s vocals. I can safely say I’ve never heard anything so raw from the frontman then the climax of the track and have been left with goosebumps after every listen.
Get your lighters out; it’s time to cause a mild fire hazard with the ballad of the album ‘Dirty Laundry‘. With a heavier electronic feel, the track at times can feel slightly awkward, but overall is a very confessional track on Alex’s part which pays off long term. The track isn’t really like anything else on the album though, so it’s placement as a single seems like quite an odd decision. We all know that moment; you’re with your friends maybe your young love. It’s impossible to fathom how life could possibly get better than this exact moment and no camera could capture the exact magic of this night. A camera may not do that moment justice but ‘Good Times’ certainly does. Filling your ears with nostalgia through it’s steady beat followed by a stripped back chorus that once again highlights a stellar vocal performance.
Opening with heavier guitars, oddly spelt ‘Nice2KnoU‘ kicks shit into gear. The track is fast-paced, slightly aggressive and still makes you want to jump around the room. Continuing the theme of nostalgia, the song is an ode to those left behind and is a well formed follow up to ‘Good Times’. ‘Life of the Party’ returns to the heavy electronic sound. It’s definitely the most experimental track of the album in terms of tone, however despite the abrupt transition from ‘Nice2KnoU’, fits the album comfortably. Stripped back to one guitar, a simple drum track and minimal electronic tones, ‘Nightmares‘ is a lullaby of a track, which cleanly leads into the accompanying ‘Darkside of Your Room‘; a track with a perfect mixture of tone and a chorus that immediately has you anticipating a live rendition.
There’s always that one song you skip in an album; ‘Ground Control‘ is probably going to be it. The track is just kind of okay. It’s got a more mainstream vibe, a heavy use of electronic tones and a feature that honestly doesn’t really fit the tone of the band nor the album. I’m honestly trying extremely hard not to use the term boring, but if the shoe fits… Capping off the album is wind-down track, ‘Afterglow’; a soft, semi-inspirational track that doesn’t finish the album off with a bang rather leaves you with a nice lingering aftertaste.
Overall Last Young Renegade showcases the growth and maturity of the band while also remaining true to their sound. It’s not hard to see why the Baltimore natives are still going after their 14th year and I’m looking forward to what they do next.
All Time Low – Last Young Renegade tracklist:
- Last Young Renegade
- Drugs & Candy
- Dirty Laundry
- Good Times
- Life of the Party
- Darkside of Your Room
- Ground Control