It’s All Dead Podcast Episode: 014 – The Best of All Time Low

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Fresh off of their highest charting album to date, pop punk stars All Time Low are flying high. On the latest installment of the official It’s All Dead podcast, Kiel and Kyle break down Future Hearts, rank each All Time Low album and share their favorite songs from the band’s discography. During the discussion, they also chat about the band’s future and legacy. Listen in!

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Posted by Kiel Hauck

All Time Low Tops Billboard Album Sales Charts with “Future Hearts”

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With just over 70 thousand albums sold, All Time Low’s Future Hearts will debut at #1 on the Billboard Top Album Sales chart and land at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, just behind the Furious 7 soundtrack. This is the best opening week of the band’s career.

Future Hearts has received rave reviews since its release last Tuesday. If you haven’t yet purchased the album, you can but it on iTunes. Congrats to the band!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Review: All Time Low – Future Hearts

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There’s a level of excitement that surrounds a new release from All Time Low that most bands will never see. Each of their albums becomes an event for the pop punk community, whether that be for better or worse. Where the issue lies is that a core group of their fans (myself included) can’t stop hoping for the same connection to an album like So Wrong, It’s Right, even as the band matures and grows artistically. Even though they’ve delivered time and time again, writing some of the best songs in the genre in the process, there is still a level of disappointment that follows them from record to record.

Future Hearts is the best record All Time Low have written since So Wrong, It’s Right. It is the culmination of the best elements of their last releases finally put together to create their most concise record in years. It is an album that, like Harry Potter, has aged itself with the fans from throughout their career instead of appeasing the appetites of teenagers just wanting something to sing along to. The sacrifice though, is a lack of power songs that will forever define them the way that “Dear Maria, Count Me In” or the best songs from Nothing Personal did.

Future Hearts sounds like a sister album to Dirty Work, or rather it’s what Dirty Work should have been. The songs lean to the edge of alternative rock and hone on anthemic choruses and radio-ready pop warfare. The sophistication of the writing coupled with the production make it sound much more mature than the album probably deserves.

This is also the ATL with the least amount of New Found Glory-esque popping guitar melodies, opting instead for melody driven by vocals backed with rushing guitars and heavy percussion(“Kids In the Dark”), which at times hampers the sound. It’s a testament to each members’ musicianship; from focusing so heavily on vocals, each instrument still pushes through brightly.

Jack Barakat and Alex Gaskarth play some heavy guitar parts that shifts from raging power chords to melodic acoustic based ballads (“Kicking and Screaming”, “Cinderblock Garden”). Zack Merrick’s bass bolsters the guitars heavily, keeping them from feeling flat at times and sharking just beneath the surface. Rian Dawson’s percussion is arguably the second most relied on instrument after Gaskarth’s vocals. The drums are powerful, heavy and moving.

Gaskarth’s vocals are standard fare at this point; he’s an amazing singer with remarkable range. He makes full use of it throughout the record, and provides small background snippets during songs just before launching into the chorus. Gang vocals are dropped generously throughout the record. However, for relying on Gaskarth’s vocals so heavily, he sounds slightly muted and uninspired compared to what we know he’s capable of. Still, he’s wickedly impressive. More impressive though are how well he melds with the guest vocalists Mark Hoppus and Joel Madden.

One of the catch twenty-twos of the album is the lyricism. There are clichés aplenty to hamper any growth thematically, as it’s impossible to count how many “in the dark” phrases are splayed throughout. It pays off as it attempts to slant a ‘grown up’ vibe to themes of heartbreak and drunken mistakes, as well as reflecting on youth as a disjointed and possibly even broken concept of freedom. On the opener, “Satellite”, Gaskarth sings, “Wishing on a star that’s just a satellite / Driving in a car with broken tail-lights / Growing up with eyes glued shut”.

However, the legendarily catchy lyricism is alive and well over all, such as during “Tidal Waves” as Alex sings serenely, “I earned my place with the tidal waves / I can’t escape this feeling that something ain’t right / I called my name as I crashed the gates / Still I can’t escape this feeling that something ain’t right / Why don’t you think before you speak? / Cause you don’t know me at all”.

Future Hearts isn’t perfect, but it’s the reason why we wait so anxiously for each new album from All Time Low. They are so far and above where they should be as musicians for a band that seemed to fill the party-punk void left after Blink-182 disappeared. It’s easy to write them off as just another pop-punk band, but that would undercut the ever growing talent and patches to older efforts.

4/5

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and has seen All Time Low there at least four times. You know, like a stalker or lonely mountain goat.

All Time Low to Release “Future Hearts” on April 7

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Pop punk stars All Time Low have announced that they will release their new album Future Hearts on April 7, via Hopeless Records. You can preorder the album here. They have also released a new music video for single “Something’s Gotta Give” and announced a headlining tour with Issues, Tonight Alive and State Champs. View the video and see the tour dates below:

Apr15 – Lowell, MA – The Tsongas Center
Apr16 – Bethlehem, PA – Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Apr17 – West Long Branch, NJ – MAC Center at Monmouth University
Apr 18 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz
Apr 20 – North Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
Apr 21 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
Apr 23 – Boca Raton, FL – Sunset Cove Amphitheater
Apr 24 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues
Apr 25 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Music Park
Apr 27 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Apr 28 – Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom
Apr 29 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
May 1 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
May 2 – Anaheim, CA – City National Grove
May 3 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
May 4 – San Jose, CA – City National Civic
May 5 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
May 8 – Salt Lake City, UT – SaltAir
May 9 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
May 10 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
May 11 – St Paul, MN – Myth Live Event Center
May 13 – Columbus, OH – The LC Pavilion Outdoor Amphitheater
May 14 – St Louis, MO – The Pageant
May 15 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
May 16 – Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Ballroom
May 17 – Plymouth, MI – Compuware Arena
May 19 – Rochester, NY – Main Street Armory
May 21 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE (Outdoors)
May 22 – Philadelphia, PA – Skyline Stage at the Mann Center
May 23 – New York, NY – JBL Live at Pier 97
May 24 – Baltimore, MD – Pier Six Pavilion

What do you think of the new single? Share your thoughts in the replies!

Posted by Kiel Hauck

Most Anticipated of 2015: #7 All Time Low Returns to the Forefront

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I always get ahead of myself with All Time Low. I’ve been a fan for almost a decade now (that feels weird to say) and can’t wait for their new album. Like most of their fans, I see All Time Low as an ambassador of classic pop punk, as they came on the scene just as the genre was fading in the mid-2000’s and Blink 182 neared their collapse. After the release of So Wrong, It’s Right and even into Nothing Personal, All Time Low utterly dominated pop punk, much to the praise and remorse of the genre’s fans.

I remember the excitement and the energy behind them during that time, and the amazement after the first time I saw them play live. It makes me count down the days to their next release, just as it is now, even though I should know better. Fans have been quite divided as to whether they’ve lived up to the hype since the release of So Wrong, It’s Right, but there is no denying the potential the band has at writing some of the best songs of their generation.

Their new release is slated for March, and there are more reasons to be excited for it than just memories and hype. Alex Gaskarth has been busy writing with ‘pop punk supernovas’ 5 Seconds of Summer, there are reports that Mark Hoppus has been writing with the band, and most recently, Absolutepunk reported Rian Dawson saying that the drumming will be for “lovers of the 2000’s pop-punk sound”. Don’t give a shit, that’s always good news.

To top it off, they’re headlining a tour with Issues, Tonight Alive and State Champs around the time of their album’s release. The year is looking busy for the boys from Baltimore.

Whether you’re a fan or despise them, there’s no denying the electricity when All Time Low come back with a new release. Whether it will whet the appetite of the pop punk faithful or aim for a middle ground is hard to predict, but the results will be damn good regardless.

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and was once almost fired from Panera Bread for blasting “Dear Maria, Count Me In” way too loud on the stereo in back of house to be reasonable during peak dining hours.

Top 10 Summertime Pop Punk Track Ones

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If you’re like us, the first weeks of warm weather and sunny skies provide the perfect opportunity to drive with the windows down and the stereo cranked up. What better way to celebrate the beginning of the spring and summer months than with pop punk blaring from the speakers?

Believe it or not, there was a time when listening to your favorite pop punk songs didn’t include downloading the latest single from iTunes or queuing up a playlist from Spotify. Instead, it meant inserting your favorite CD or cassette tape into the stereo and starting from track one.

That’s why we’re celebrating our favorite summertime pop punk track ones. These are attention grabbing, foot tapping, sing-a-long ready songs that kick of some of our favorite summertime albums. Check out our top 10 below and feel free to chime in with your favorite track ones in the replies!

10. The Fratellis – “Henrietta”

“Henrietta” by the Fratellis is an energetic romp that starts off Costello Music, an album full of singles. From the crisp slap of the high hat, the baritone sax acting as bass and the rickety guitar chords, the song never takes itself seriously and builds the energy right up until the very end. It’s one of the few songs I can think of that has a solo of the band members shouting “Wa wa wa waaaa”, only to be followed by the pub-rock lyrics of, “Clean out the bank and bump off your daddy, you can come live with us amongst the has beens and the addicts”. – Kyle Schultz

9. Relient K – “Chap Stick, Chapped Lips, and Things Like Chemistry”

Back in the day, Relient K were known as the corny goofballs of the pop punk scene. With Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right, But Three Do, the band turned the corner towards a more serious sound, while still keeping the cheekiness that made them so fun to begin with. “Chap Stick” is the perfect example, as the song celebrates one of the greatest of all summertime traditions: a trip to the theme park. Vocalist Matt Theissen even laments losing his phone “to the lake beneath the Batman ride”. It’s a song about youth, summer and the awkward relationships that come along with both. Theissen ends the song with his infamous line, “I don’t want to be perceived the way I am / I just want to be perceived the way I am”. – Kiel Hauck

8. My Chemical Romance – “Helena”

“Helena” became one of the oddest singles to dominate MTV, mostly due to the hypnotizing umbrella dances amidst a funeral, and introduced the world to My Chemical Romance. What it lacks in the polish of MCR’s later work, it makes up for in raw punk energy and Gerard Way’s gorgeous crooning. It’s atmospheric, creepy and commanding as Way sings, “So long and goodnight, so long and goodnight”; a fitting end to a season of energy. – KS

7. MxPx – “Middlename”

“Emotion is my middle name!” Likely one of the most famous opening lines of any pop punk album, these lyrics, courtesy of Mike Herrera, kick off Life in General, one of pop punk’s seminal albums. Driven by the fast-paced drumming of Yuri Ruley, “MIddlename” is a definitive example of the golden age of pop punk, combining the perfect emotional blend of confusion, anger and determination. MxPx has always had a knack for crafting upbeat, in-your-face tunes and “Middlename” is the match strike that ignites an album that bands would be replicating for more than a decade. – KH

6. Green Day – “American Idiot”

“American Idiot” is a quintessential summer song: loud, catchy and extremely pronounced. For being a song with such a simple melody, the chorus of, “Don’t want to be an American idiot, one nation controlled by the media / Information age of hysteria, it’s calling out to idiot America” is legendary. Simply put, it is a song designed from the ground up to blow out car speakers and demand fist pumps in the putrid humidity. If there’s anything that can keep spirits up in the heat, it’s the song that helped relaunch Green Day’s career. – KS

5. Fall Out Boy – “Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today”

No, we’re not the types to go on and on about how Take This To Your Grave is Fall Out Boy’s best album and everything since has fallen short. However, there’s no doubt that “Mick” is an absolutely killer opening track. From the opening dial tone to the Stump’s belting of “around your throat” to close out the song, it’s a blast of nostalgia from beginning to end. Along with its upbeat feel, the song showcases some of Wentz’ most potent songwriting, including the infamous line, “Let’s play this game called when you catch fire I wouldn’t piss to put you out”. – KH

4. Saves the Day – “At Your Funeral”

“At Your Funeral” by Saves the Day is without a doubt one of the most well known songs in the scene. With the slow build up of twangy plucked strings leading to the brutal ending and shaking guitars, the song is a slow build that ends in absolute melodic madness. For as dark as the lyrics can be, the song is so upbeat and poppy, it’s impossible to not be happy or sing-a-long as soon as the opening sentence drudges out of Chris Conley’s mouth, “This song will become the anthem of your underground”. – KS

3. All Time Low – “Weightless”

The guys in All Time Low were facing a rather big moment in their careers upon the release of their third full length release in 2009, Nothing Personal. Would the band keep the momentum that had propelled them to the forefront of the pop punk scene or hit a speed bump that would send the band crashing back to reality. With the album’s opening track, “Weightless”, one thing was crystal clear – All Time Low was here to stay. The epitome of a summer anthem, this song had just he right amount of pep and positive energy to push the band over the top. Vocalist Alex Gaskarth’s “Maybe it’s not my weekend, but it’s gonna be my year” captures the heart of summer’s dog days for many and provides a dash of hope for the days to come. – KH

2. blink-182 – “Feeling This”

While it isn’t blink-182’s most famous song, “Feeling This” is a great summer song with varying styles and the first hint of the band’s more mature sound. The bouncing guitar blazes past Travis barker’s amazing drumming and intertwines lyrics about a lustful relationship falling into the bedroom, constantly pushed forward by Mark Hoppus’ shouting “I’m feeling this”. The duo toy with R&B elements and pop, holding the signature fury of their signature sound at bay just long enough to build towards a final wave of pop punk the likes of which the genre as a whole hopes to create. – KS

1. Yellowcard – “Way Away”

Before the title track of Ocean Avenue would become everyone’s summer anthem in 2003, “Way Away” proceeded it as the album’s lead single. If those opening notes don’t give you chills, it’s likely a sign that you missed out on this incredible album’s heyday. LP’s drumming, Sean Mackin’s violin and Ryan Key’s belted notes of “Way away away from here I’ll be” scream to be played at full volume with the wind in your hair. Truth be told, this entire album is a summertime experience from start to finish, but “Way Away” kicks things off perfectly. – KH

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

All Time Low release “Fool’s Holiday” lyric video

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All Time Low has released a lyric video for their new Christmas song “Fool’s Holiday”. Take a look at the video below.

The song is from Fearless Records’ recent Punk Goes Christmas compilation. If you’re in the mood for some great new Christmas tunes, you can buy the release from iTunes.