Steadily climbing the pop-punk ranks through the years with their debut album ‘Never Happy, Ever After’, Brighton four-piece As It Is have been nothing if not persistent in their quest to become household names. Touring relentlessly and with few breaks whilst recording their next album, the frustration and stress of such a hectic schedule can definitely be heard in ‘okay.’.
Beginning with possibly their most pop-song ever, ‘Pretty Little Distance’ introduces the album as one that’s heavily focused on melody and that jumps around in terms of style quite a bit. Title track ‘Okay’ is easy to gloss over on a first listen, but the chorus of ‘I don’t think that I’m okay’ is sure to become a fan-favourite live, capitalising on the typical pop-punk sound that As It Is have perfected.
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The first standout track on the album is ‘Hey Rachel’, a heartfelt apology from Patty to his sister who suffered from depression and anxiety when they were younger. Speaking to Rock Sound he explained that he “was unsympathetic when she needed support most”, and so this song is his apology. The soaring chorus and the lyrics “you don’t have to forgive me” makes the song sound genuine and sincere, a theme that runs through the album from beginning to end, with no lack of emotionally loaded moments.
If there’s anything that As It Is prove they can do well on this album, it’s writing songs that take the best bits of a few genres and turn them into something that can stand out against other pop-punk songs. Teetering on the side of a ballad, ‘Curtains Close’ utilises subtle strings to add a deeper feeling to the track without sounding cheesy or out of place and is another track on the album which packs an emotional punch when covering a serious topic. Sounding volatile, ‘Soap’ sees the band at their most aggressive as the verse builds up to a fiery chorus with throat-shredding vocals and demonstrates what the band can do in their heavier moments.
‘okay.’ is definitely an album where a few tracks stand out above the rest, but the ones that do stand out are really, really good. As It Is have managed to exceed the efforts of their debut and prove that they’re not a one-trick-pony, and for that they’ll be around for many more albums to come.
Track listing ….
1. Pretty Little Distance
3. Hey Rachel
4. Patchwork Love
5. Curtains Close
6. No Way Out
9. Until I Return
10. The Coast Is Where Home Is
11. Still Remembering