Back in 2005, when a prepubescent group of teens by the name of All Time Low were spinning around likes maniacs in their video for ‘The Party Scene’s lead single ‘Circles’, few may have thought that they would go onto one of the most prominent faces of pop-punk for many years to come. Yet, nearly 15 years on since the band’s first LP, and that is exactly what they have become, across a discography that shows a growth of maturity over the years, while mostly retaining the so-Cal soaked elements that made them so fun to begin with.
The band formed back in 2003, as high-schoolers in Baltimore, where they spent their early days operating as a cover pop-punk band. 2004 saw their first piece of music hit the airwaves, in the now pretty hard to find ‘The Three Words To Remember When Dealing With The End EP’ and from there on, their popularity was on a fast upward trajectory. Since then, the group have dropped a further six records, had numerous commercial and mainstream success, and built themselves up to be one of the most well-appreciated pop-rock bands on the planet.
Of those releases, there are a few notable stand-outs. ‘So Wrong, It’s Right’and ‘Nothing Personal’ are a throwback ode to the band’s years of careless teenage angst, combining lusciously infectious choruses with incredibly high-energy, which translated into some fantastic live shows – none better than their show in New York, which can be found on the live album ‘Straight To DVD’.
As the band moved forward from there, a dip in form (and one the band often admitted to afterwards) occurred on their move to Interscope Records for their fourth LP ‘Dirty Work’ – a record that wasn’t All Time Low’s best, but certainly had great moments, like the anthemic ‘Time Bomb’ and ‘Hereos’. After one setback, a move to everyone’s favourite pop-punk hoarding label, Hopeless Records, where they released one of their best efforts to date in ‘Don’t Panic!’. Since then, further releases ‘Future Hearts’ and the more commercially accessible ‘Last Young Renegade’ have seen the realms of the alternative scene to great mainstream success and receiving considerable airtime.
Alex Gaskarth, while now a part of a new project, ‘Simple Creatures’, with Mark Hoppus, is synonymous with the pop-punk scene – an icon if you will. Like the rest of the band, his growth has been shown through the band’s ever-maturing nature. The truth of the matter is, All Time Low have worked their asses off to be one of the biggest rock bands on the planet – and it’s hard to deny that they are.
Check out our playlist below, compiled with what we think are some of the best All Time Low tracks in the band’s catalogue, both for newcomers to the band and already firmly established fans.
TOP 3 ALBUMS:
Below is our choice of the most accessible All Time Low records. With such a choice of acclaimed, lauded, stylistically evolved music, it may be a tough choice to know where to begin. Leave it to us to pick the three essential LPs below.
Released: July 7th, 2009
Regardless of what many may say, this was the game-changing record for All Time Low. The introduction of subtle electronic elements to the band’s thoroughly pop-punk sound added a real air of pop that only made tracks like ‘Weightless’ – what a song still, by the way – and ‘Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t’.Gaskarth is open in his vocals, depicting the party scene that at this point is clearly in full swing, and matched by truly delicious hooks that epitomise the definition of modern pop-punk. Yet, there’s more to this record than just successfully building on what they’d done previously, there were serious risks taken here. ‘Too Much’, a fully electronic ballad like they’d never attempted before, speaks for itself as a sign of the boundaries they wanted to push here. Make no mistakes, even ten years on, this is still one of the best pop-punk albums that’s ever hit shelves.
Best tracks: Weightless / Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t) / Lost In Stereo / Therapy
Released: October 8th, 2012
After numerous factors insured that previous release ‘Dirty Work’ was, as Alex Gaskarth puts it, ‘dead in the water’,it was clear the band had taken an unfortunate step backwards after the success of ‘Nothing Personal’. Thankfully, their comeback record of sorts, after abandoning ship at Interscope Recordsto head to the sunny shores of Hopeless, was ‘Don’t Panic’ and stands tall as one of ATL’s top records. It came with an air of regained freedom, and returning to the band’s trademark of infectious choruses, collecting the best bits of their discography to that point, and mixing it all together. And my word, does this record have some hefty choruses on it. Tracks like ‘Backseat Serenade’, ‘The Reckless and The Brave’ and ‘Somewhere In Neverland’ are impeccably strong pop-punk tracks, and ensured that ATL were well and truly back at their best again.
Best tracks: Backseat Serenade / Somewhere In Neverland / For Baltimore
SO WRONG, IT’s RIGHT
Released: September 25th, 2007
Some may disagree that ‘So Wrong, It’s Right’ deserves the accolade of being in ATL’s top three albums, but in all honesty, this is the release that got them noticed. Picture the scene – it’s late summer of 2007 (so late it’s almost October). It’s still fairly mild, and you’re driving around town to the sounds of ‘Let It Roll’, windows down and loving life. Of course, memories of this record are largely nostaligic, but as an album it still holds up as an incredibly consistent release. Tracks like ‘Six Feet Under The Stars’ and ‘Poppin’ Champagne’ carry huge melodies and showed Alex and the boys fine tuning their wilder writing style on their early work. Plus, hello – ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ is one of the ultimate go-to pop-punk songs of all time. Like it or not, ‘So Wrong, It’s Right’ put ATL on the pop-punk map.
Best tracks: Six Feet Under The Stars / Dear Maria, Count Me In / Remembering Sunday / Poppin Champagne
Written by Dylan Tuck
Writer for DEAD PRESS! | Literature undergrad with a love for all things punk | Often found sipping on coffee and attempting to write some words.