First Listen: Don’t Panic cleans up after Dirty Work
After receiving negative criticism for their album Dirty Work last year, Baltimore pop-punk group All Time Low definitely redeemed themselves with their fifth album Don’t Panic.
Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson and Zack Merrick decided to leave major label Interscope and return to their original label Hopeless Records to record Don’t Panic.
Gaskarth stated that the album “reflected the best aspects of our previous releases.”
The album starts off with the single “The Reckless and the Brave,” which was released over the summer while the band was playing on the Vans Warped Tour. The song reveals the dissatisfaction that the band had with the major label Interscope Records which released its last record: “looking back at a life on the other side I realize that I didn’t fit in, didn’t hate it but I didn’t quite relate it.” The band didn’t fit the major label scene so they returned to the label that released their first three albums, Hopeless Records. Then he belts out the chorus, “so long live the reckless and the brave/I don’t think I want to be saved/my song has not been sung.”
The second single, “For Baltimore,” pays homage to All Time Low’s hometown while “Somewhere In Neverland,” which alludes to Peter Pan and the idea of staying young forever, has all the ingredients of a good pop rock song; catchy chorus and a brilliant backbeat.
Don’t Panic also includes stellar collaborations with some of the best artists that pop rock has to offer. “Backseat Serenade” features harmonies from Cassadee Pope, lead singer of Hey Monday, Anthony Raneri of the band Bayside adds a punk edge to “So Long Soldier” while “Outlines” includes vocals from Jason Vena, lead singer of Acceptance. “Outlines,” co-written by Fall Out Boy’s own Patrick Stump, is a standout track. The song is filled with fantastic and meaningful lyrics such as, “I’m just a moment so don’t let me pass you by/we could be a story in the morning but a legend tonight.”
Despite a lackluster fourth album, All Time Low’s fifth album is very good. Was it because of the band return to their original record label after a disastrous year on a major? Possibly. Regardless, Don’t Panic oozes that vintage All Time Low pop punk sound; catchy music, vivid lyrics and blazing guitars. All Time Low are back musically and with the right label.