Posts Tagged ‘dont panic’

Don’t Panic, All Time Low’s 5th studio installment, was released on October 9th, 2012 through the Hopeless Records label. Before I even begin to go into this I am just going to say that Don’t Panic is my 2nd favorite record of all time (right behind Simple Plan’s Still Not Gettin’ Any…)! This was a fantastic comeback for the boys from Balitmore! After they released Dirty Work, All Time Low was starting to follow the same path  as most pop/punk bands do as they near their 10 year anniversary, which is die. Honestly, looking back now, “Time Bomb” seemed to be the only song that I enjoy from that album. Fortunately for them, Don’t Panic is a hit! Debuting at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, Don’t Panic has allowed All Time Low to moisten the panties of 12 year old girls all over again.

I have been anticipating the release of Don’t Panic for a few months now and I drove an hour down to San Francisco to my nearest Amoeba Record store to grab my copy. I was so excited! I popped the CD into the car stereo and rolled my windows down as I sat in the infamous downtown San Fran traffic for nearly two hours. But I am happy to say that those were the most entertaining two hours of my life.

Don’t Panic starts off with a song called “The Reckless and the Brave”, the lead single for the album. Immediately I know that ATL will make this their new Intro song for touring purposes. This song kind of worried me though. I was preparing myself for what might have been 12 more unheard songs off Dirty Work. But as I started to listen more closely I was able to hear subtle similar guitar work to Nothing Personal. I did not really like this track off the bat, but kind of like Blink-182’s song “Up All Night”, it really grew on me.

“Backseat Serenade” is the second track on this pop/punk album. It features Cassadee Pope of former pop band Hey Monday! So I started to expect something of a duet. But nope! All I hear from her are simple harmonies which is quite unfortunate. Anyway, back to the song. Both verses are okay at best, but the chorus is probably one of the most powerful in the album! I can’t help but to sing along to “Backseat serenade, dizzy hurricane, oh god I’m sick of sleeping alone”. Very catchy and fun. Probably one of my favorites throughout!

The next song is titled, “If These Sheets Were The States” and this is undoubtedly my absolute favorite on this album for many reasons. The first reason is that it really reminds me of early All Time Low. Jack Barakat wrote a simple, but memorable guitar riff for the intro and I couldn’t wait to get home and learn it on guitar. I wanted to immediately cover this song with my old band. “If These Sheets Were The States” is not only musically fantastic but lyrically. It is about how far apart two individuals can feel from each other although they are sleeping together. I was also really stoked when I heard the bridge, Jack really knows how to work his guitar harmonies with Alex and they make it work.

“Somewhere In Neverland” was one of the three singles released to promote Don’t Panic and the fourth song in the album and quite frankly, I am not impressed. It sounds somewhat like a cheaply made demo song. The guitar tone has a little too much distortion and I don’t understand the meaning behind it at all. Alex Gaskarth has a reputation of writing songs about girls I really don’t think he even knows. I don’t know, it is an alright song but I just feel like it lacks heart.

Suddenly I hear this chunky guitar riff and a glimmer of hope ignites in my heart. “So Long Soldier” is the name of this classic punk rock song. Upbeat and fun, “So Long Soldier” reminds me that Alex, Jack, Zack, and Rian actually might have a pair of balls with held in those tight jeans. Although it is a short song, I really like it. It’s not what one might consider to be “typical All Time Low” but it definitely brings them back to the Blink-182 cover band days that I think we all miss.

“The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver”? Oh All Time Low, why you so punny? All jokes aside this song just seems to me like a filler track. Basic vocals and nothing out of the ordinary for any band from this genre. It seems kind of like a chill, dance song. Anyway, not much else to say about this one. I usually just skip it anyway.

This next song is one of my favorites. “To Live and Let Go” follows up that “ehh” song. I am not really sure why I like this one so much. I think it is just the passion I feel from Alex’s vocals that make this one so great. Rian Dawson’s drum work also stood out a lot in the duration of the song. The somewhat off bass drum notes really add a little more variety to this and keep it from being the basic 2, 4 drums we all know so well.

Co-written by Fall Out Boy’s own Patrick Stump, “Outlines”, was expected to be one of the major hits on Don’t Panic but I disagree. Before Don’t Panic was released I saw the album trailer on YouTube and this was one of the featured tracks and I was pretty stoked to hear it. But after listening to the entire thing, I just felt bored. Other than the chorus, nothing really shines or stands out to me. I think it had more potential, but its alright overall.

“Thanks To You” is something I would have expected to find on Dirty Work. Seems like another filler track from the get-go, but if you give it the light of day and wait about 15 seconds your opinion is likely to change. This song was a pleasant surprise and pulled me back in. All too much, when listening to a new album I hit the point where I really lose interest and start blanking out and I focus on everything BUT the songs. This song was placed in just the right spot to pull the audience back in.

Nearing the end of Don’t Panic I start to expect more filler tracks when “For Baltimore” comes on. This is one of my favorite All Time Low songs in general. This is a definite set list song for their future songs. Very catchy and poppy which I, for one, am I total sucker for. Every part of this song is perfect. I love every word to every transition to every guitar chord. I can’t wait to see the boys play this one live as I know I will stop moshing and sing alongside all them 12 year olds. I definitely recommend this song to anyone who wants to expand their iTunes library. I love this one!

“Paint You Wings” starts off with a really sick guitar intro. This song has what I like to call “meat”. It’s full of just everything I look for! I am in love with Alex’s vocal melody in the verse. Something about the minor descent really just makes my tummy all rumbly. Great song! Very fun to sing along to and play on guitar.

“So Long, and Thanks for All the Booze” is the final song in Don’t Panic. If you have stuck around this review long enough, you deserve a slice of pie. It isn’t the way I expected the album to end. Other than the “Gimme, gimme my motivation” the song is somewhat of a bore. Sure, it has a lot of pop/punk influence in it, but its not something I can see myself listening to over and over. However, I do feel like it might be a good song to stick in a Sonic game. I can just see that blue hedgehog running his ass down a hill collecting all them coins.

Overall, Don’t Panic is a fantastic album and comeback for the guys and I cannot wait to see them play live in a week! I love it and although it may feel like a lot of the same, Don’t Panic has potential to bring back some forgotten pop/punk fans. I give it a 9.5/10 and would recommend this to anyone and everyone!

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