Completely out of the blue, All Time Low has given their fans a bit of pop-punk gold with their new single “A Love Like War”, which will be one of four new tracks on their re-release of last year’s Don’t Panic. There has been little to no news of the re-release – let alone a new single – so it was a special treat when they debuted the song on an episode of lead singer Alex Gaskarth and guitarist Jack Barakat’s ridiculously entertaining radio program Full Frontal. I wasn’t surprised that the both single and the pre-order of Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now are in the top ten on iTunes and its music video reached over 200K views in less than 24 hours.
Vic Fuentes from Pierce the Veil lends his voice to this obviously harder, more angsty song about pursuing this person who’s wrong for you on so many levels but you can’t help but want them anyway because you want to take on that challenge. The lyrics give us the story from a happy-ish beginning (“for the thrill of your touch, I will shamefully lust, as you tell me we’re nothing but trouble”) to the moment that you realize that you were stupid to even pursue this relationship (“the bitch of it all is that I’m running from, the desire of the people to whom I belong”) to its bitter ending (“is this the end of us, or just a means to start again?”). The instrumentation perfectly matches the song’s angry tone with powerful drumming and guitar riffs that really make it come to life. It’s literally the perfect song to listen to when you’re pissed off at someone whether you’re dating them or not.
I’m a little disappointed that “A Love Like War” wasn’t originally included on the first release of Don’t Panic because it would’ve fit perfectly with its relatively angsty sound. Then I thought about it and realized that it probably would’ve been overlooked just like Dirty Work‘s “Under a Paper Moon” (an awesome song by the way). The extraordinary vocal paring of Gaskarth and Fuentes, paired with headbanging instrumentation and raw emotion, made it worth the wait. It’s different than what we might be used to, but they definitely pull it off and if this is a direction they’re thinking about pursuing on future albums, then I’ll dig it.