July 25, 2006 - Hopeless
Maryland quartet All Time Low have truly found their voice since the release of their 2006 EP Put Up Or Shut Up—most of which was pulled from their 2005 debut The Party Scene, a disc that came out on a tiny local label. The seven bouncy pop-punk tracks on the EP, several of which the band still play live, are blatantly drawn from Fall Out Boy and New Found Glory—both of whom ATL have professed love for. Opener “Coffee Shop Soundtrack,” a fan favorite, is a hooky pop number on which singer Alex Gaskarth warbles with his very best Patrick Stump impersonation. The song’s indebtedness to FOB isn’t a bad thing, though; while the track is catchy and fun, it offers more of an edge than the work of many of ATL’s peers.
“Jasey Rae,” a propulsive rock number, pays tribute to New Found Glory with its spinning choruses and layered pop-punk guitar riffs while closer “Lullabies” is a sugary song that alternates between jumping pop verses to an echoing chorus of “Sing me to sleep/I'll see you in my dreams/Waiting to say/’I miss you. I'm so sorry.’" It all sounds like All Time Low, but where their newer albums contain a solid sense of musical identity, Put Up Or Shut Up is the middle ground between a cover band obsessed with Blink-182 and a career of originality.