By All The Young
I'm a bit late to the All The Young scene. My friend's band supported them (I'll spare you the name checking) and described them as everything I'd have expected them to be judging by the cringeworthy album cover. Brash and bold. A bit like a press release for those with writer's block. And talking of writer's block, I've found this an extremely hard album to review. It's just so normal. Good then that in this case normal is done well, as opposed to the usual bland and banal version of normal. The kind your mum likes when she thinks she's being edgy and wants to connect with you, perhaps during those difficult adolescent years of trouble and trauma. She'd probably run a mile from this mind, despite the glossy 'LA' production. Long a galling niggle of mine, 'Welcome Home' is baked in shiny pompous overproduction that accompanies their "new frontier of indie rock and roll tag". Here it seems to work, albeit probably only on the basis that I've never actually seen them live. Once you've had that experience with a new band, overproduction on record really does, more than often, take some of those qualities from the stage away.
There's a fair few piss poor comparisons to the Gallagher's kicking about when it comes to All The Young and for that I genuinely feel sorry for them. I'm not being snobbish or anything, I loved Oasis as much as anyone but this lot has more to offer than being a mere parody or copyists. Sometimes it does venture a bit too close ('The Horizon's' guitar solo smacks of standard Noel) but on songs like 'Today' they take the standard formula and shower it with a bit of Doves, The Open and erm, The Seahorses (!) to create a little gem. 'New Education' starts off as 'That's Entertainment' and builds into something The Editors might do if they weren't so boring. It's filled with lyrical cliches about overcoming adversity ("don't let it get you down" / "let's all raise a glass to the new education") but they're a bit of a lad band so we'll let them off. When they try to be epic on songs like 'Here To Stay' they do come perilously close to falling flat on their collective arses but they just about manage to pull through.
Indeed, the best thing I can say about this album, however 'normal' it is, is that it doesn't have a bad song on it. There's no filler (10 tracks, like every album should be...) and each song shows a level of confidence and maturity usually reserved for a band's second or third effort. Whether that means they'll have turned into Nickleback by 2016 remains to be seen, however.
The album closes with the, erm, brash and confident title track. Refreshing, as I was half expecting All The Young to follow a nauseating indie stereotype and use a piss poor ballad as their final track. It's easily the best song on here, and one that sums up the whole experience nicely. It's glossy as fuck, like every other song, but unlike the maungy recent efforts of Biffy Clyro (another usually lame comparison), it works.
Not bad for Oasis Reserves.