The transatlantic pop-punk quintet As It Is are not holding back anything with their second album, ‘Okay.’ To keep the anticipation up, the Brighton band chose to release the album track-by-track over the week leading up to its release, giving fans a taste of their most honest and personal record to date.
The opening track, ‘Pretty Little Distance’, immediately creates the 50s vibe that the album is based on, a heartfelt melody and perfectly timed upbeat harmonies displaying exactly what pop-punk really is. The relatable lyrics sung by vocalist Patty Walters could make anyone tempted to sing and air-drum along, never mind the typical gang vocals.
As It Is have managed to stay true to the sound of their debut album, ‘Never Happy, Ever After’, while also involving a new edge that is shown within the unashamed personal title track. Much like many of their songs, it begins with Walters’ quiet vocals, slowly fading into guitarists Andy Westhead and Ben Langford-Biss’ smooth riffs and drums from Patrick Foley. The harmonies make this track even more lovable – the emotion behind their voices telling the story on its own.
Track three (Hey Rachel) on the album is a slightly different song that might just catch the hearts of fans. Walters describes it as an apology for his sister Rachel, as he wasn’t there for her when she needed him years ago. The lyrics, “I was younger and scared when you needed me. I was selfish and stubborn, a terrible brother”, pull at your heartstrings despite the catchy tune.
Stepping out of their comfort zone with ‘No Way Out’, the song starts with a faster beat than most of the other tracks on the album. The more aggressive vocals, bass and guitars are what makes this stand out, with the chorus being heavier than their usual style and including an intriguing yet hostile bridge.
A personal favourite, ‘Soap’ follows, again with the new edge that As It Is has formed throughout the album. The guitars and vocals on this track is reminiscent of the work by Floridian pop-punk band, Set It Off, suggesting that the band are not afraid of experimenting with their sound.
This heavier and more aggressive tone follows through the album, with tracks ‘Austen’, ‘Until I Return’ and ‘The Coast Is Where Home Is’ sounding relatively similar, typical pop-punk songs with choruses you can easily jump around to.
The closing track on the album is one that fans will adore. ‘Still Remembering’ captures Patty Walters’ emotional vocals over a slow acoustic guitar – the typical sound of lost love. Despite the common topic, the relatable lyrics are original compared to any other love song, reminding you that it’s okay not to be okay.
This album is a real contender within the pop-punk genre, leaving their March UK tour with State Champs one you don’t want to miss.