Brighton-based band As It Is formed in 2012, after vocalist Patty Walters gained traction from musical covers uploaded on YouTube. Soon after the boys joined up, they were quickly snapped up and signed by Fearless Records just two years later. With three albums to their name, The Great Depression being the most recent release, it's clear they're doing something right with an extremely dedicated group of fans and followers. Without spoiling anything, it's safe to say that this is more than just music. The band wanted to communicate the societal romanticisation of depression by asking questions rather than offering solutions, and they've certainly hit the nail on the head.
Artist: As It Is
Album: The Great Depression
Release Date: 10/08/2018
Genre: Pop Punk/Alternative
Similar Artists: My Chemical Romance, Set It Off, Neck Deep
Recommended Tracks: The Reaper, The Stigma (Boys Don't Cry), The End
The Great Depression is the first track on the album, which seems to be easily comparable to My Chemical Romance. The 2000s emo/alternative sound is prevalent amongst the album however it's certainly more than just simply that. The more you listen, the more you notice the layers and depth in each track. This song in particular addresses consumers of manipulative corporations within the modern day world and the irony of disingenuous hospitality. The second track, The Wounded World follows this whilst taking away the victimisation of a specific group of people. Instead the lyrics state "We're all to blame for the wounded world", acknowledging the fact that nobody is innocent, nor should they be singled out for blame.
Unexpectedly highlighted as the stand-out track of the album, The Stigma (Boys Don't Cry) has proved popular. Considering the increased awareness of mental health, specifically towards men, it's understandable that the boys wanted to focus a song around this. Starting off slowly with the first verse and chorus, vocals and guitar are the only instruments used to draw attention to the serious theme. It then quickly kicks in with hard-hitting vocals and heavier drums, particularly during the bridge. Listening to this song, it's perfectly executed and deserves every bit of special recognition received.
Track seven, The Reaper is the heaviest song on the album, leaning As It Is towards the post-hardcore genre. Cleverly written from the point of view of someone at their lowest point in depression, it touches on the subject of suicide. Personifying death in the lyrics, it provides a reminder for sufferers that there is always a choice and that many of those who attempt feel regret, despite the feeling that there is no way out. This song personally resonates with me, providing vibes of US-rock band Framing Hanley.
The final track on The Great Depression album is The End. As a band, they well and truly hit home with this record. Exclaiming the difficulties of reaching out to someone who is genuinely there to help, it reveals the harsh reality that there are those who pretend to care but aren't really listening. The direct, powerful bridge of the song was revealed to have been heavily influenced by the death of Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington, referring to 'crimson arms and this broken neck'. It finalises the song with the lyric "You fucking tell me who made this choice!" which leaves the song open to interpretation, again working as a reminder that there is always a choice as mentioned in The Reaper. The beauty of this album is evident as each track targets the romanticisation of depression, whilst asking questions to provoke thought rather than brushing it off with a false happy ending.
For more information, you can read about their exclusive live acoustic set and album signing by clicking here. Don't forget to purchase album here or make sure to give it a listen over on Spotify.
What do you think of The Great Depression? Which albums would you like reviewed next?
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