UK pop-punk band As It Is is one of those bands that younger bands should look up to. They’re still rookies themselves with a brand new debut album Never Happy, Ever After, but the band lead by Patty Walters worked their cabooses off trying to build their fan base using YouTube and other social media platforms and the efforts eventually got them noticed by the right people. A signing to Fearless Records, getting booked for the entire Van’s Warped Tour, and a sponsorship with Glamour Kills Clothing (which got them featured on this year’s Spring Break tour with Set It Off, Against The Current, and besties ROAM) are definitely some sweet rewards for their hard work and dedication and the quality of the tracks of Never Happy, Ever After proves just that.
From the release of their first single “Dial Tones”, it was pretty obvious that Never Happy, Ever After was going to be filled with upbeat pop rock tracks, soaring lyrics and its fair share of earworms. Beginning track “Speak Soft” starts off the entire album with the line “why should I stick around when all I do is let you down” and gives off that notion of how sometimes we don’t give people another chance after a first impression, which can translate into some listeners easily giving up on artists after hearing one song. They continue the trend with the I’m-heartbroken-over-someone-who-was-never-mine track “Sorry” (which name drops the album at the end), second single “Concrete”, and their most popular track to date from their This Mind Is Mine EP “Can’t Save Myself”.
While each track does have a special quality to them, three tracks certainly shined above the rest. Third single “Cheap Shots & Setbacks” is a positive “don’t listen to the haters” kind of track with a Boys Like Girls “The Great Escape” feel to it. Its overall message of focusing on creating the best life for yourself even when people try to take “cheap shots” at trying to bring you down makes for a great coming-of-age track that will appeal to their target audience.
If you’re in the mood for a slower, thought-provoking track turn to “Drowning Deep In Doubt”. This emotional track speaks to those who feel that they are “the product of wasted effort and best intentions” and fear of having all of their happiness ripped out from right underneath them. For those moments of unrequited love, you can always look to “Turn Back To Me” to calm down your feels. The saying of how “if you love someone you need to let them go” comes into play in the form of a grim story of how one person just couldn’t take constantly “romanticizing a person that’s gone”. Walters’ emotional lyrics play the role of the one not putting in all of his effort into the relationship and can been experienced through lines such as “I’m terrified of letting you see what I’m thinking”, “my mind’s a frightening and lonely place I can’t escape at night”. Its chorus consisting of “it’s all my fault and I know it/I know that I deserve to be alone/I wrote myself out of your story/and I know I made it seem like I never cared at all but I swear I was always trying” is the kicker that can ultimately determine whether you feel your heart shatter into tiny pieces or just sit there wallowing in your non-sensitivity.
Throw in a few instrumentally heavy ballads like the Set It Off “Dream Catcher”-esque “My Oceans Were Lakes” and the love song in disguise “Silence (Pretending’s So Comfortable)” and Never Happy, Ever After is a musically well-rounded debut album. Ending track “You, The Room & The Devil On Your Shoulder” is a thought provoking track that leaves you thinking about how we think it’s easier to mask our true selves from those around us due to fear of not being accepted for who we are – a weird, beautiful human being.
The UK has been producing a good amount of rock bands in the past few years and there’s no doubt that As It Is will fit in with their surprisingly skilled songwriting, in-your-face instrumentation, charming demeanor, and charismatic performance style both on and off the stage. Never Happy, Ever After is a very strong debut effort and the band only going to get more popular once Warped Tour comes around. They’re a great example of how a strong fan base can help you in the beginning of your musical career.