All Time Low - Last Young Renegade
All Time Low
Last Young Renegade
It has been a weird road for pop-punk band All Time Low throughout their 10 year career. They came in towards the end of the genre yet still managed to make an impact. After a few dismal records since 2011 and a couple label changes All Time Low are trying to roar back with this new album Last Young Renegades. The imagery is pretty clear what sort of vibe they are going for here, but don't expect to find a politically charged album, this is pretty straight down the middle Pop-Punk. All Time Low tried a pop heavy album back in 2011 that had moderate success, but they still went back to more instrumental heavy rock songs, that is until this record. Hooks and sing-a-longs are all over this thing, whether you feel the desire to participate is another story. This Pop shift comes at a time when a band like Paramore makes it seem like these emo/pop-punk bands of aold can still have another life. The difference with Paramore is their album sounds like modern pop and it pushes their sound forward where as Last Young Renegades feels like a regression. All Time Low think you are dumb and dumbing their music down is the best way to get your attention. They are obviously wrong and it is a mistake artists on major labels make over and over again. When they sing that "Punk kids started picking fights/ with skaters under the street lights" on "Good Times" it seems like a specific memory but also so incredibly generic. It has nostalgia, big drums and an anthemic sing-a-long which should really set it off, but they feel so forced and intentional that any impact is lost.
"Nic2KnoU" really is a song that seems to forget completely that 10 years have passed, it could have been ripped straight from 2006. "Life of the Party" however is the real sore thumb on Last Young Renegades, they inexplicably try to blend in some EDM elements which are laughably bad. Calling the album Last Young Renegades, really bugs the shit out of me because there is nothing "renegade" about this album what so ever, so why? You could even make a case that this record is the least renegade thing as it tries to appeal to the widest audience possible. There are a few moments like on "Nightmares" where they actually sound pretty good, and manage to make the song sound modern and fresh, but the acoustic guitar breakdown in the middle is straight from the Dashboard Confessional arsenal and sounds so played out. Save for a few people who are wanting to really relive their pop-punk days you just cannot picture someone picking up this record and falling in love with All Time Low for the first time. Tegan and Sara are able to elevate the track they feature on, but it is not nearly enough to save this record. You can't want to break into modern pop yet never let go of the sound you've had for years and that is exactly what All Time Low have tried with this record. Sorry to say, it fails.
4.0 out of 10