As It Is release the first single, The Wounded World, from their forthcoming album The Great Depression.
With a YouTube video that has reached nearly 50,000 views overnight, it shows just how successful As It Is have become in their short tenure. Their latest single The Wounded World comes alongside the announcement of a third studio album, The Great Depression (due 10th August 2018). Having listened to the band’s early work, I was keen to see if they had returned with some punchy anthems, the kind to reignite my guilty pleasure relationship with them.
Now, I don’t think I can discuss this single without addressing the music video alongside it. The video builds a dysphoric world in which the band seem to be the only thing to break the fascination with hyperbolised technology at play. In a similar fashion, the vocals of Patty Walters enter the song in a somewhat clouded state. Hidden under a microphone effect that makes it feel like a historic radio broadcast, the song opens in a damming manner. Unfortunately, once the band join the party the song seems to lose some of its spark. Whilst the drums are as tight as ever, the song really struggles to bind. The varying pitches of the vocals, which are normally the most divisive part of the band’s sound, attempt to hold the song together quite well. My qualms, however, come with the lyrics, which have potential to be creative and delicate, but instead feel forced and as if they have been heard before. The dyed black hair and direct address to the camera employed by Walters in the video falls a little too close to the timeless and widely adored, work of Gerard Way in the My Chemical Romance video for Helena. I’m not sure how well this will be received.
To be fair to the band, with this all said, I cannot fault the breakdown of the song. It has that pop-punk-heavy-breakdown-charm about it, the kind that made me feel rebellious listening to bands like A Day To Remember when I was younger. It is very cool. While Patty Walters chooses to speak through a distorted microphone setting, one that mirrors the one used during the opening of the song, the scream he chooses to employ after this is impressive. His voice is one to divide opinion, however, I feel as though, and have done since their first EP, his most successful facet comes when he stretches into these prolonged periods of screaming.
This is a song that I am sure will be adored by the band’s fans for the same reason that I loved this style of music when I was young and angsty. For a listener that has never dipped their toe into the heavy, alternative scene this will be their gateway drug. Exciting. However, the concept of the album due for release is an important one. As It Is have been vocal about how they wrote the work around the “societal romanisation of depression” in a recent interview with Kerrang! Magazine. For this reason, I will be sure to tune in to see how they choose to go about this.