Unadulterated power pop

Let’s make one thing very clear right from the beginning: this is not a punk rock record.

It isn’t even pop punk.

All Time Low’s latest offering, the pseudo-conceptual Last Young Renegade, is an album of unadulterated power pop. Guitars have overall succumbed to layers of synths, dance beats and electronics and Alex Gaskarth’s vocals are tinted with the distinctive warble of Auto Tune. There is still enough of their punkish energy and attitude to be recognisable, but it seems more of a nod to the past than a bid to keep in with the faithful, although “Nice2KnoU” is certain to get plenty of pit pogoing happening. Certainly, many of the fans who’ve grown up with them will be swept right along with the huge arena pop-rock maturity of “Life of the Party” and “Afterglow” and the indie rock sensibilities of “Dark Side of Your Room”. There is also little doubt that those same fans will feel a sense of loss at the band’s final break from their snotty pop-punk past and the passage into the shiny, sugary mainstream, not so much a betrayal as a metaphor for their own transition from youth to adulthood.

Last Young Renegade is the portrait of a band that is changing with their fans instead of in spite of them, an album with a view to the future and an occasional wistful glance at the past. One thing is for sure however. The days of referring to them as a punk band of any kind are over.

1. Last Young Renegade
2. Drugs & Candy
3. Dirty Laundry
4. Good Times
5. Nice2KnoU
6. Life of the Party
7. Nightmares
8. Dark Side of Your Room
9. Ground Control
10. Afterglow