I’m sure if you’ve been paying attention to the pop-punk scene at all in the past eight months, you’ve heard the name As It Is thrown around. As It Is became the first UK band to sign to Fearless Records in October 2014, and since then, have been making some pretty significant waves. Now, these waves are about to get a little bit bigger due to the release of their debut, full-length album Never Happy, Ever After.
This album is the perfect mixture of angst and passion, and is filled with relatable and intelligent lyrics. Check out our review after the jump!
As It Is has quite a few tour dates lined up this summer, including a run with This Wild Life, as well as playing the entirety of this year’s Vans Warped Tour. For more information and to buy concert tickets, click here. Also, be sure to purchase a copy of Never Happy, Ever After here.
Never Happy, Ever After opens with “Speak Soft,” and this song does anything but that. It hits you from the start with Patty Walters insane and incredible vocals. This song brings so much power right away, and it shows these boys did not come here to play. I am absolutely in love with the rhyming scheme throughout this song. The verses flow so well, and each line rhymes with the one right before. Yes, I know, this isn’t some new thing created by As It Is, but their vocabulary is what really makes it special.
“Cheap Shots & Setbacks” was the second song and video released from this album. The lyrics are the most perfect definition of angsty inspirational pop punk –you cut yourself down and then follow with a compliment. For example, the chorus states: “We’re the kids who are dead inside/But we’re the ones who feel alive/We dream ‘cause we don’t sleep/We’ll never get rest, but we got this.” Check out the video for “Cheap Shots & Setbacks” here.
There’s one song on the album that I was not excited about and figured it was going to be a throw away, until the bridge, and that song is “Drowning Deep In Doubt.” The track starts off a bit slow, but then I got to the bridge and my jaw dropped. There are back-and-forth vocal responsibilities between Walters and Ben Biss throughout the whole album, but these ones stand out more than the others. They both continuously shine vocally, but you really get a sense of who these two are in this song. Biss is gritty and controlled, while Walters is full of emotion and it tears you apart. When he screams, it’s so honest and passionate, and he chooses his moments so elegantly.
“Dial Tones” is not only the fifth track, but the first single/video released by As It Is. Honestly, who doesn’t love this song? Ever since the first time I listened to this track, I couldn’t help but applaud these guys. If you’re looking to break out, the process to do so is quite simple – you release a song like “Dial Tones.” It has mass appeal, phenomenal lyrical content, and drums that are no joke! Drummer Patrick Foley is a master of what he does, and he is the driving force behind this song. Check the video out here.
The first true ballad you come across is “My Oceans Were Lakes,” and I think this track is going to be one that a lot of people are going to grasp tightly to. It’s all about realizing your problems may not be as big as you once thought they were. I think there are a lot of people, including myself, who have come across a moment in our lives when we needed that reassurance that we were going to be okay, and that whatever we are going through will get better. This song is that message for anyone who needs it. The chorus simply repeats: “I’m starting to see my oceans were lakes.”
Those who have been longtime fans or are just familiar with earlier As It Is material will be happy to see an old friend by the name of “Can’t Save Myself” appear on the latter half of this album. This track was originally released on the band’s latest EP This Mind Of Mine, and they even put out a video for it, which you can see here. There aren’t a lot of differences between this version and the original, except it’s cleaner all around. What I was most happy about was they kept Biss’ gritty vocals during the bridge, an element that I fell in love with.
The album concludes on an ironic hit note considering the fact that “You, The Room, & The Devil On Your Shoulder” is the slowest song on Never Happy, Ever After. Up until this point, you get the impression that Walters is wild and very energetic, but then you come to this song and it’s a complete 180 from what you are used to. I wish I would have been in the room when he recorded the vocals for this song. It had to have been a moment for anyone who witnessed it. He has so much control in his delivery, it’s breathtaking. If you’re familiar with the song “Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You” by The 1975, this track is a lot like that. The whole song stays on the same level throughout and it’s just a beautiful closing moment for such an incredible album!
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