Following a fall release of their latest album, the Brighton pop-punk quartet, that used to be somewhat grounded into the genre have projected themselves subjects of more sensitive topics.
The follow up to the bands 2017 ‘Okay’, the bands third full length album ‘The Great Depression’, as the title suggests the band have embraced a more darker side to their approach, by way of creating a daring concept album that strongly outlines the issues of mental health, its portrayals and problems within a modern day society.
The concept of the album ties all those issues together via a narrative of a man known as the Poet and the turmoil’s in his life when he comes “face to face with death and his own mortality”.
Previous As It Is works have always being about conveying evocative emotions to one extent or another, but the themes on ‘The Great Depression’ are a lot more thought out and constructed; as shown through their choice of singles; ‘The Wounded World’ which examines the deconstructive attitudes in today’s society, ‘The Fire and The Dark’ explores the emotions involved in an abandoned love and failed relationship, the third single ‘The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)’ shows the strain and the negative misrepresentation of male emotions in today’s existence.
In comparison to the bands previous pop-rock-esque sounds this album introduces thicker, heavier guitars and breakdown instrumentation certainly leads the band’s sound and image into the realm of the emo and post-hardcore genre yet still including those pop-punk roots they started out with, a classic example of this can be heard ‘Two Tongues (Screaming Salvation)’.
Recognition and praise has to be given to front man Patty Walters and his vocal style on this album, showcasing a rawer and frantic style compared to his more softer melodic vocals on previous works, this can be heard on tracks such as ‘The Reaper’ and the bridge in the final track aptly named ‘The End’. The guttural, gritty almost screamed vocals of melancholic poetic lines are almost an exhibition of emotions of someone who was standing at the edge of their life.
The band also include a huge guest vocal appearance on the album, Aaron Gillespie of Underoath can be heard on ‘The Reaper’ which adds a different dynamic to the track and shows the band rising in their musical status and ranks.
It would be without a doubt to say that ‘The Great Depression’ is As It Is’ best album to date and doubt many would refute nor disagree with that statement. Important conversations that focus on the romanticisation of poor mental health are handled sensitively, yet perfectly, while being both sincere and critical at the same time, all while the Poet’s story is captivating, just as the tracks themselves will definitely have the listener pressing the replay button more than once.
It would be fair to say that the band have on this occasion outdone themselves and have taken a huge step in their musical adventure!