Best of 2016 Playlist

February 28, 2017

All Time Low - "Dirty Laundry" Single Review

All Time Low made some big changes recently. Moving from Hopeless Records to Fueled By Ramen, and then seemingly ditching their pop punk for some smooth electronic rock. It's got fans excited, confused, and most of all anxious for their upcoming album "Last Young Renegade". 

To preorder the album click this (link), and to get check dates for the band's headlining tour with SWMRS, Night Riots, Waterparks and The Wrecks go to their website. 

A song that is deeply cemented in its label, that's the best way of describing this track. Like so many other labels, you can instantly tell this is a Fueled By Ramen track. Unfortunately, aside from Alex Gaskarth's vocals, there is nothing that characterizes this as an All Time Low song.

You have to give the band credit for being brave enough to try something so new and different from their usual pop punk. This new sound might work for them in the long run. But they're going to have to find a way to combine the old with the new because the current sound is a let down. It is a weak substitute for PVRIS, The 1975, twenty one pilots, and Panic! at the Disco. The fact that Blake Harnage, the man behind PVRIS' debut as well as former member of VersaEmerge, produced the record. It is catchy, however flawed. 

The synthetic drums that fuel the majority of the song, reduce Rian Dawson's usually powerful and energetic beats to slow and standardized 808 rhythms. He is allowed some free range in the second half of the song. In fact, the entire second half of the song showcases the band's real talents. Jack Barakat adds in a slick solo in and Zack Merrick throws in his bass. The tempo picks up and finally we're treated to something more along the lines of "Kids in the Dark", in terms of energy and alt. rock vibes. If only the entire song was written that way. 

The biggest sin isn't the electronics, or the synthetic drum beat. No it's the lyrics. They are so underdeveloped and generic, the only lyrics you'd see worse would be from a 7th grade garage band that covers ATL. The title line, "Dirty Laundry", is awkwardly sung in the opening of the chorus. The band could have picked any other, less obvious name, like Imperfection or something like that, for this song. 

And they chose "Dirty Laundry". Which in the grand scheme of the song makes little sense. This is a classic relationship song, about a guy who loves a girl despite all her flaws. Pretty basic right? Well that the hell does dirty laundry have to do with the song? Little to nothing. It's as if the band wrote the song, and were then told to work the line "Dirty laundry looks good on you" into the chorus. Gaskarth sings about the girl's imperfections, and how she keeps her room a mess (hence, dirty laundry is piling in her room). She wears dirty clothes, and Gaskarth is cool with that because, hey, love.  

The band claim the song is about leaving the past in the past. Lyrics are highly subjective, so you decide what you think the song's real meaning is. Are they talking about forgoing the past mistakes and embracing change? Or is this just a relationship song about some dude who is learning to love the fact his girlfriend likes wearing dirty clothing? 

Summary - 
The shift in style isn't as big a red flag as the lyrics. Granted All Time Low have never been known for the lyrical skills as some other bands, more their catchy riffs and live performances. So what's left when you strip away the power chord riffs and energetic beats? All the band's flaws.

Rating - 6 to 6.5/10