After spending a the day in Rochester yesterday, seeing the likes of How We Are, Polar Bear Club, Permanent, Pressure, and Invade, the ride back called for something different. Something universally agreeable amongst the four of us taking the three-hour drive back home. Something…special. That something, that something was Dude Ranch .

I think anyone who liked pop-punk during their high school years needs to be reminded of why they loved it in the first place every once in a while. No, we’re not 16 anymore, but the fact remains those songs still hold up, and can still make a three-hour ride seem less than half that. All Time Low, while sharing the basic premise of being a pop-punk band, hold none of that same magic. It’s hard to be a pop-punk band that’s even somewhat memorable, I understand that, but these songs leave so little an impact it’s often hard to remember they’re playing at all.

It’s hard to even articulate, some bands just have those intangibles, and some don’t. It’s apparent right from the get-go that this is a band that fits into the ‘don’t’ side of things. “Coffee Shop Sountrack,” though inadvertently so, is a very fitting name. The boredom of the everyday coffee shop is perfectly reflected in the chords and the vocals these three minutes provide. It took me a while to figure out just who it was that singer Alex Gasgarth reminded me of, but it’s actually Kenny Vasoli of the Starting Line. The noticeable difference being that Vasoli has a little something extra in his delivery, thus letting Starting Line songs build on a much stronger foundation than All Time Low is able to. It’s not that I don’t think they’re trying, because it does sound like an honest effort, but the fact remains that none of the songs have that ability to grab you at first, in the middle, or even at the end.

I can admit, the band does throw some catchy chord progressions together — look no farther than “Jersey Rae” for that, but their ineptitude when it comes to tying the package together is what really does them in. Either the vocals outshine the instrumentation, or vice versa; it’s rare that both are on cue, and even then, the rope holding everything together is frayed at best. Furthermore, finding off-key vocals or lackluster chord progressions is not half as uncommon as it should be.

They’re able to hide a lot of the inconsistency with simplicity, but only so much can be held back before becoming painfully evident that the substance is lacking.

author: Jordan Rogowski


It always is nice to find an album that is both easy to digest and has somewhat of a long lasting effect. In our modern world of pop punk it seems that so many bands have mastered the first part but are quite lacking as far as the second one is concerned. Natives of Maryland, All Time Low put out an EP on Hopeless Records with a lot to like. Its overall sound is catchy, relaxing and fun, just like pop punk should be. Vocals are very smooth in sound, and the harmonization as well as its usage is absolutely stunning for the genre. Bass sticks out as a sturdy block, holding up the rhythm section very nicely. There is a fair share of verses where bass lines even stand out as being very well written. Drums do exactly what they need to, keeping a beat yet tossing in a fill or roll to compliment the music. It’s pop punk, so the guitars must be power and octave chord driven progressions, and maybe a five second riff here and there…WRONG! Believe it or not there are actually some respectable guitar melodies on this album. Riffs are not only catchy, but also very precisely executed and wonderfully written. There is never an abundance of riffs, yet at the same time rarely a drought; as the band always uses them when the situation calls for it. All of these are factors that help make Put Up or Shut Up a joyful listen.

From the opening of Coffee House Soundtrack the band might sound a little on the standard side, but being an opening track it provides a perfect opener for the EP. Some palm muted chords make up the intro and to be honest, this song opens up a little poorly but things quickly pick up. Vocals make a perfect entrance and the opening lyrics are quite nice, Should I write myself out of the history books, and mark a place in time for every chance you took, don’t get me wrong I know you’ve got your life in place, I’ve yet to take the hint. I like, nothing mucho complicated, but effective. The verse moves along fluently and the chorus comes in equally as smooth. There is a bit of a stop start rhythm during one part on the chorus and while not something drastic, it is a nice addition to the song. Unfortunately a very safe approach to song writing is present in the fact that a palm muted bridge builds up into a final chorus. However, that and the weak intro are the only major complaints, as the opening track is fairly enjoyable. Later on the band shows a bit of variety, as a clean guitar introduction opens The Girl’s A Straight-Up Hustler. As the rest of the band comes in, the riff persists, creating a nice easy listening verse. Things pick up once again during the chorus, and what a catchy one as well. Lyrics really stick out here as well…

Take off your makeup and put down the camera,
choke on the drama that makes me want to,
tear up the pictures, the pages you’ve saved,
creating a life of trends and make believe…

Call them cheesy, simple, etc, but regardless of that they get the point across. Lyrics aside, bass is actually ear grabbing during the majority of the song, adding accents in some darn fitting areas. During the second clean verse the slightly distorted guitar stop start pattern, clean riff, and the bass are in wonderful harmony. This song really sticks out not only because of its insanely catchy chorus but for all of the various sounds here. There is a bit of a bass bridge which works as a wonderful lead in to the last chorus. Unlike the opener here, they end up returning to the clean guitar as opposed to ending on the chorus. The superb usage of clean guitar here really stands out and makes this song a highlight. This song has a lot to offer besides a laugh at the title’s expense.

Jasey Rae keeps the album moving at its usual pace. A very nice riff comes out during the intro, its one of those upbeat, cheerful pop punk riffs that makes you want to get up and dance. After the intro however their sound becomes a tad repetitive. Despite the fact that there are some little riffs along the way which keep things somewhat entertaining; they do not completely mask the fact that the verses and choruses found are beginning to blend together with each other. There is a little slow bridge which leads into another great riff, almost a mini solo. If their focus was on guitar parts for the song they accomplished their goal, because that is one of the only redeeming factors found here. Other than that, many aspects of the song are just not as strong or convincing as the previous tracks. Things all finally come together during The Party Scene. This was a title track off of a previous album for the band and with good reason. A nice vocal intro opens this one up in a different fashion, grabbing the listener’s attention right from the get go. The verse has its usual joyful state, keeping things moving at a nice pace. Here is something a bit new once again, a wonderfully written bass line. It comes out during the prechorus with a guitar lick being played over it. The two riffs compliment each other perfectly, leading into a fantastic chorus. There is a bit of a lead in the background, not very impressive due to difficulty but more so towards what it adds to the song. Plenty of depth is added into the chorus as a result, making it very persuasive. Once more the great bass lick comes out and one begins to fully realize how much this song has going for it. Just when you think the song is at its peak, it is boosted higher. Guitar solo?! I kid you not, far from shredding but this puppy adds plenty to the song. It’s playing highlights plenty of passion as it easily a triumph for the guitar portion of the record. Despite clocking in under the 3 minute mark, The Party Scene has a good amount to offer, making it the strongest song on the EP and a good representation of the band’s sound.

For this being only a 7 track EP, there are a good amount of redeeming factors present. All Time Low clearly has a strong sense of what they want as far as their music goes. The only downside of this is that sometimes parts of songs can blend together. However, Put Up or Shut Up has enough features that help separate the band from your average pop punk band. The guitar work is nice in a sense that it can successfully carry certain sections and add a lot of depth to others. Both players know how to create songs without entirely relying on octave chords. Usually this is the section where I’d skip over the bass, but once more ATL prevails where others fail, as bass is very prevalent throughout the EP. When not holding up the rhythm section, some very fitting riffs and lines come out, adding plenty of strength to certain sections. Vocals are smooth throughout the record whether atop of clean or distorted guitar work. Their tone is very consistent despite not being ground breaking original. Overall, All Time Low has put together quite the enjoyable EP. As a whole their sound is easy to digest, but contains enough to keep listeners coming back for more. Things sound polished, catchy, and most importantly enjoyable; which is a lot to say since all four members graduated high school in 06! Put Up or Shut Up gives listeners a hint at what success the future might hold for the Maryland quartet.

author: ToWhatEnd


author: Brandon Herbel

So I first off want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down and answer a few questions for us here at

No problem at all, I’m excited to have the opportunity to sit down and answer some questions for you guys.

Can you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do in the band?

My name’s Alex Gaskarth and I sing and play guitar in the band All Time Low.

You recently just released your EP off of Hopeless Records. How have the fans been responding to it?

So far the response to the EP has been mind-blowing. We never would have expected to sell as many copies as we have, as quickly as we have. It was a very warming surprise to find out that all these people are supporting us. All we can do is be thankful.

What made you decide to record just an EP instead of a full-length?

Hopeless Records suggested that we start by releasing an EP, rather than jumping straight into recording a full-length. I whole-heartedly agree with them at this point. It gives new listeners a chance to get to know us as a band, while giving us time to tour and develop musically. We didn’t want to feel pressured or rushed going into the full-length, so at the time, releasing an EP just made the most sense as far as where we were and what we wanted to do. Having just graduated high-school, we hadn’t had much experience in the way of touring, so that was our priority. Now we’ve got things to write about, you know?

Can we expect to hear any of the songs on the EP on any of the future albums?

Probably not. A good amount of the EP already consists of songs that we had previously released independently, so with the full-length, we’ll definitely be looking to come out with completely new material for everyone.

Was there anything that was a big influence in the writing of the songs or did you have most of them before entering the studio?

As I mentioned, five of the seven songs on the EP had been written, recorded and released before we signed to Hopeless. When we decided to put out the EP, as a taste of what we were offering musically, we also chose to throw in a few new jams, just to keep listeners who had been with us from the get-go interested. Our aim was to give everyone a taste of what is to come, new listeners and old.

Who did you have produce the EP?

The EP was produced by Paul Leavitt and ourselves. We love that dude. Expect big things from him in the future, he is yet another talented producer/engineer coming out of the Baltimore/Washington area.

The title of the EP is “Put Up Or Shut Up”. Is there any significance behind the title?

Besides being a line from one of the songs on the EP, Put Up or Shut Up signifies a desire to achieve more, to actually strive for something. There’s not a whole lot to it, honestly; no deep, underlying message. Its just a cry out to anyone who may be indecisive in the way they go about living their lives. Either do something with what you’ve got or quit wasting time, because you only live once. There shouldn’t be a gray area in the way people go about their business. This pertains to everything. Have conviction and stand up for what you believe in, or you’ll be walked all over for the rest of your life. Word.

I feel that the songs really flow together and are very easy on the ears. Do you ever have a hard time trying to come up with new songs or do you guys write all the time?

It’s always a challenge when you’re writing new material, especially when you’ve got ears to please, but I think in our case, it’s that sort of pressure that encourages us to produce the best music we can. Most of the material on the EP was written more than a year ago, so we are more than ready to stretch our creative muscles again for the full-length. The ideas we’ve got brewing for the next studio session are really getting us excited.

On the topic of influences. What are some of your biggest influences musically?

Blink-182, Green Day, and New Found Glory got us doing what we’re doing today but I think that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Haha.

I heard that the band is mostly 17/18 years old and I was just wondering if the age thing was ever a problem with touring and being a full-time band?

Well, we were all still in high-school when things started getting really busy for us as a band. There was a constant demand for us to get out on the road, and prove to everyone that we were capable of doing what they wanted to see us do, but at the same time, we had our obligations at home. Luckily we managed to balance everything (touring, school-work, ect.) really well… Our parents were really supportive in the process, although a little worried at times, I think. We’re all 18 now, everybody graduated, and we’re ready to do this as a full-time thing. Bring on the rock.

As I said earlier, you are signed to Hopeless Records. How has it been signed to them and how did you guys go about getting signed?

Being signed to Hopeless Records has been amazing. Everyone working for the label and all the label-mates we’ve met so far have been nothing but friendly and supportive. It’s a really good fit for us. As far as how it came to be: Well, it started when we met Amber Pacific a few years back at a show in Virginia Beach. We all took a liking to one another and kept in touch from that day on, so as we (All Time Low) began to attract the attention of certain labels, Amber Pacific took it upon themselves to pass our music on to Louis at Hopeless. We heard from him very shortly after that, and the rest is history.

What do you feel has been you biggest accomplishment this year and why?

It’s always been a dream of mine to walk into a record store and see my band’s CD sitting on a shelf… That dream has recently come true and there are no words to describe the feeling.

You are out on the tour and I was just wondering how the band usually goes about getting ready and prepared for going out on tour?

Well, first we all have a big slumber-party where we do facials and manicure/pedicures. We shampoo and condition our hair, and brush until you couldn’t tell the difference between our hair and the silk pajamas that we’re all wearing. Then we pig out on our favorite ice-cream and watch movies like Can’t Hardly Wait long into the night. Hehehe. Nah. We don’t really do anything extra-special or unique before leaving for tour. Its just a matter of making sure you have everything you need; clothes, toothpaste, laptop and all the rest. It’s a lot like a vacation … with much worse hygiene. 

What are your thoughts of going out on tour and being able to go to a new town every day?

Touring has always been a blast. This time around we’re sharing a bus with the dudes in Amber Pacific, so not only is it going to be our first bus-tour, but we’ll be sharing the experience with some really good friends. I’m very excited.

Now I know that we had a couple of staff review the EP and I was just wondering if you would like to share any thoughts to the staff members and what you thought of their reviews.

A review is the opinion of one person, is it not? That means that their take on something is no more credible than anyone else’s, right? So Gabe is entitled to his opinion, and Steve is entitled to his. We don’t hold any grudges or bias towards anyone for what their take on our EP was. Some people are going to like what we do, and some people aren’t. That’s just the way things work. I just hope that the conflicting reviews encourage people to go out and listen to the EP for themselves, and decide what they think of it from there. I actually thought it was really cool that released two conflicting reviews. Controversy is fun!

Who are some of your favorite bands to tour or play with?

To date, Hometown Anthem, Transition, Boys Like Girls, and Cute Is What We Aim For. All amazing people.

What are some personal and band goals to you guys have for 2007?

I’d really like to see us tour in Japan. It’s another dream of mine. I’d also like to write a pop-punk masterpiece … but who doesn’t? Ha-ha.

Are there any other tour plans after the tour?

We’re going to be making our way back to the East coast with Hit The Lights, just as the tour comes to an end. Following that we’ll be doing a small leg with Lucky Boy’s Confusion before entering the studio in the winter. Its a busy year for us, but an extremely exciting one as well.

Do you guys have any cool tour stories that you would like to share with us?

I hate this question, because I never know WHICH story to talk about. So many memories. Oh man, there was this one time when we were staying in a hotel by the beach, and the room had a door on either end – one that opened into the hallway, and another that opened directly onto the beach. It was pretty cool, but when we opened both doors, it created this ridiculous wind-tunnel effect … it could literally blow you over. We spent at least an hour whipping open both doors at the same time, and hurling random objects into the path of the gust that would come through, sending everything flying out into the opposite hallway. I think we woke a good amount of people up that morning. Good times, though, and a great demonstration of aerodynamics … and Mom said I should have taken physics class more seriously. Pssh.

Well that’s about all the questions I have for you guys. Is there anything you would like to say to any of the fans and readers out there in land? 

Only that we love you for having an interest in what we’re doing. Thanks so much for being a part of the ongoing adventure, without you guys I’m pretty sure we’d be lost at sea. Arrr maties. Also, a big thanks to for doing this interview. We love y’all.


Pop-punk never has been and never will be a genre to converge on innovation. Regardless of how much the purists, nostaligsts, and old-time Drive-Thru loyalists might argue for the accomplishments of their once-favorite acts, those days of novelty have since passed. With those claims already staked out, hordes of visitors have arrived in a quest to find their own stamp of land in this crowded settlement, doing so with an homage to their predecessors, but at the same time working to establish a proper identity in a sweet sound all their own.

A cursory glance through the latest offering from All Time LowPut Up or Shut Up, reveals an act that kowtows in such a style, with more than a passing resemblance to bands like Fall Out Boy, The Starting Line, and Cartel. In reality, however, that is an overly simplistic conclusion to reach. Sure, thematically, the band does not establish itself as a wholly disparate entity by any means, but that is not the name of the root game here, really. All Time Low most certainly gives the “what’s up?” head-nod to the scene heavyweights, but tosses in plenty of proprietary flair to earn due respect.

Vocally, Alex Gaskarth ebbs and rolls into Patrick Stump-esque lowered verses (“The Girl’s a Straight-Up Hustler”) and also lets his notes resonate with a poignant quiver a la Will Pugh (“Coffee Shop Soundtrack”), but he so seamlessly switches between these perspectives unlike either of his predecessors. Likewise, the rest of the band dutifully alternates between frenetic, punkish urgency and crunchy, bouncy anthemics in a way that is artfully fractured yet entirely accessible. And thankfully, with regards to lyrics, All Time Low eschews the angsty, faux-irony of the Fall Out Boys in the scene, but instead imparts an optimistic, almost tongue-in-cheek, playful confidence that perfectly reflects the band members’ ages and stations in life and the industry. Stanzas like the following are not exactly going to make Daniel Webster fear for his place in history, but they sure are amusing enough to sing to, and poetic enough to make discerning listeners not feel wholly ashamed for doing so:

Tonight is alive with the promise of a street-fight,
And there's money on the table,
That says your cheap-shots won't be able,
To break bones.
I've yet to break a sweat
I'll make your past regret its future.
Here's to you.

Not to belittle the rest of the band’s work here, but as with most pop-punk, the songs end being made or broken by orbiting around the almighty hook, and Put Up or Shut Up‘s tracks prove to be no exception. Every chorus on the record is filled with thick, lustrous vocal layers and a keen songwriting sense that makes each individual highlight stand out from the rest. The vocals are spot-on, perhaps due to (over?) production wizardry and work into some of the most syrupy harmony textures this side of Living Well Is The Best Revenge. The obvious attention paid to these hooks gives this EP its wings and makes it a surefire hit to summer driving everywhere. If you need evidence, scope the massive vocal onslaught on “Break Out! Break Out!” and just try not to sing, “Stay seventeeeeeeen!” at the top of your lungs during “The Party Scene.” If you can resist, well congratulations, you are officially an embittered human being.

When the record stops playing, and you step outside the music itself, sure there is a lot of static concerning the value of an EP like this. Most of the material is re-recorded or recycled in some fashion or another, but the re-work that is done is spectacular enough (“Running With Lions”) in most instances to appeal to older fans of the band, but really, this whole recording is a bone thrown to reel in newcomers to the All Time Low camp. Whichever faction you may consider yourself a part of – longtime follower, fresh fanboy, or impartially ignorant, you’d do well to pick up Put Up or Shut Up before this band is absolutely huge. All Time Low is not reinventing the wheel or curing cancer or whatever, but this is the catchiest pop-punk EP released since Cartel’s The Ransom, and serves as a shining indicator of a young band’s limitless future. When you consider these guys are barely old enough to buy cigarettes, the only place left for them to go is up.

author: Steve Henderson