All Time Low/Nothing Personal

All Time Low are a Pop/Punk band from Baltimore, MD. Formed in 2003, while all the members were still high schoolers, the band released their debut CD in 2005. Nothing Personal, the bands 4th release was issued in July 2009 and debuted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Weightless—-Full of all the classic sounds of today’s Emo driven youth culture, the song takes a few moments to really come alive. When it does, you are surrounded by huge guitars, bombastic drums and effects that help to remind me of the glory days of Lit! This was a great choice as a first single, as it captures the sound and the energy of the band perfectly. Great song!!!

Break Your Little Heart—-A bit more straight forward rock, the vocal borders on the classic Emo whine, but the chorus of background vocals keeps the track from becoming to distracting. The chorus and the instrumentation behind it is huge…this is really nice! There is always a strong sense of melody, despite the sing-song chorus…this is layered, textured and written really well.

Damned If I Do Ya [Damned If I Don’t]—-This is very aggressive from the onset…the guitars sound like layers of keyboards. The music falls almost silent to allow the introduction of the vocal, but comes alive again soon after. This is another example of great songwriting and a pretty tight band. This chorus is HUGE….catchy and damn near unforgettable.

Lost In Stereo—-This song takes an opposite approach, offering up the chorus before the refrain. The song is energetic…full of power riffs and a damn pleasant vocal. My only complaint is the sameness of the release…this is almost too predictable. Although, I must add the chorus guitars are much beefier.

Stella—-This is much more frat boy than anything else on the release, but it works really well for the band and their particular audience. This is contagious with a huge sing along chorus…the voices all come together to add even more beef to the song. This is noisy, pompous and a lot of fun.

Sick Little Games—-A tad bit more sedate and calm, the vocal has that annoying Emo whine that tells you exactly who this was written for. At times the vocal almost reminds me of AFI…which is not a bad thing…at least it is a little different from everything else so far. I like this!!

Hello Brooklyn—-With an odd guitar intro, a a drum propelled lead the song takes a minute to really get started. The chorus delivers yet another great fun-filled sing along line that will stick in your head no matter how many times you press erase. This is nice, but suffers from predictability.

Walls—-More of an electronic sound than the predictable guitar heavy intro, this adds a nice level of variety. The chorus promises a huge anthem type delivery, but falls a little short for me…not to say this is bad, but I just expected more based on the previous tracks on this release. Nice.

Too Much—-Wow….this is a surprise at the onset…strings and Electronics…a nice mellow vocal delivery that is dual lines repeating after the other. This is what I mean…just different enough to keep my interest and preventing boredom. The vocal is sweet and tender, the sound is emotional and heartfelt. Great!

Keep The Change, You Filthy Animal—-Returning to full throttle Pop Punk, the band falls back into its comfort zone with a raucous and somewhat juvenile song that will appeal to youngsters everywhere. The remarkable thing about this band is that they always manage to maintain a sense of melody, no matter how hard they are rocking. This is really good…a favorite track of mine.

A Party Song [The Walk Of Shame]—-This begins HUGE and maintains it’s size throughout the entire song. The pace is much faster and the drums are right in your face. The double layed vocals are fantastic and the stop-start of the music shows talent as well as a knack for giving the listener what they want.

Therapy—-Ending the release with a rather mellow track is a surprise for me…..the song is stripped down and almost acoustic in sound. This is emotion laden with feelings of rejection and loneliness smack in your face. This is fantastic…a great way to end this release!!!

**** out of 5


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