Graphic by Quincey Stewart-Kohr
All Time Low has been around for a decade now, and their sound has transformed from year to year, all while staying true to their punk rock roots, and nothing has changed in their new album Wake Up, Sunshine – except for the surprising and incredible features with blackbear and The Band CAMINO.
The band announced the album in mid-February, after the release of their first single, “Some Kind of Disaster,” in January. Frontman Alex Gaskgarth told Kerrang! Magazine that the band went back to their roots for this one. He said, “It had been a long time since the four of us made a record under one roof. That became a central theme.” While I’m not sure how much work these four goofballs got done, each song is unique and captivating and as an avid fan of the band, I can clearly hear each member’s influence on the tracks. I’ve been a fan of All Time Low since day one, when they released their EP, Put Up or Shut Up , and it’s refreshing to hear similar melodies from that album in the new one.
With the world on lockdown, the band was sure to keep their fans entertained. They released almost half the album in singles until the release of the album. “Sleeping In” was one of the first, and my personal favorite of the singles. Maybe it was the hint to their song “Dirty Laundry” in the second verse, or the mention of Britney Spears (my favorite pop diva), or the heavy drums. This song is perfect to wake up to in the morning. The band is labeled as pop-punk, so it’s only right they have some good dancing tunes, and “Sleeping In” is the perfect one for that. Other singles include “Trouble Is,” “Melancholy Kaleidoscope” – which is sure to get stuck in your head – and “Getaway Green.” Every song manages to stand its ground alone as a single, or blend perfectly with the rest of the album. I find that typical of All Time Low. The way All Time Low sticks to their roots while being able to put out an entirely new album and sound is captivating, and I can safely say most bands aren’t able to do that well.
While the singles boosted fans’ excitement for the album, I think it’s safe to say that no one was expecting “Monsters (feat. blackbear).” Including heavy bass and guitar, it reminds fans what genre All Time Low belongs to. That is, until blackbear’s verse comes on. Not only does the rap make the song that much more exciting, it includes a sample of blackbear’s “idfc,” making this song one of the best on the album. All this week, the band held a contest to see what fans could recite the rap. Even Gaskgarth got involved (and killed it).
There are 15 songs on the album and I could gush and awe about all of them, but I’ll leave something to the imagination. All Time Low has done an incredible job with their eighth album, even in the shadow of COVID-19. The band is doing all they can to help those in need, including numerous charity performances on Twitch and releasing an exclusive piece of Wake Up, Sunshine merch where all proceeds go to funding COVID-19 relief. By the way, the shirt is pretty cute.