All We Know - Itchy
Review by Nicole Roberts
ITCHY are a bit of a surprising band. I'd been familiar with their past albums, especially with their 2015 release Six, so I went into this with certain expectations for what All We Know would sound like - and I was so very wrong. While Six (and their previous material) is quite good, this new album completely blows it out of the water. I'm a huge fan of bands who can put out albums which manage to be a mish mash of genres, styles, and sounds, while still managing to create a cohesive body of work. ITCHY have certainly nailed this.
From the outset, I was interested. 'Stuck With The Devil' is a gritty, bluesy track that captured my interest straight away. The song very much set the tone for the album - not in the way that the rest of the album would have that same sound and vibe, but that each track grabs your attention with it's uniqueness.
The entire album keeps it interesting by moving through a range of styles. With 'Keep It Real', you have a much more mainstream pop rock anthem, which is followed by 'Fall Apart', another catchy, upbeat track, with an epic chorus. 'Nothing' gives me nostalgia for punk from the 90s, while 'Black' brings the heavy, with strong, excellent guitars and an impressive energy. 'Before You Go' is a huge throwback to yesteryear, and belongs as a background to a montage of a young couple in love, drinking milkshakes decades ago.
'Danger!' is more energetic, with vocals that at times remind me ever so slightly of Benjamin Kowalewicz of Billy Talent fame (very slightly, but enough that I promptly put Billy Talent II on). 'The Sea' is much more chilled, while 'Knock, Knock' is much heavier, choppier and more modern punk rock. 'Day In Day Out' is catchy, and seems to belong on an American Pie soundtrack, with that chorus. 'All We Know' is a bit of a filler, but not a bad one. 'We're Coming Back' is much more punk, much heavier and angrier, although the droning vocals are weird, but permissible. 'The Last Of Us' swings the album back into the realm of anthemic pop rock, with the album ending on the upbeat, sunny, punk pop 'Go To Sleep'.
The band are labelled as punk, and to an extent it is right, but their new album is such a mixed bag of genres and influences that they really could fit under a myriad of umbrellas comfortably. Take the huge difference between 'The Sea' and 'We're Coming Back'. While 'The Sea' has a much more chilled out, surfer vibe that gives a subtle nod to ska, 'We're Coming Back' is much more in the realm of punk, with it's in your face attitude, pounding drums and foot-to-the-floor guitars.
While the album as a whole is really strong, there are a couple of tracks that don't quite live up to the album. With every 'Stuck With The Devil' and 'Black', there has to be an 'All We Know', that is comparatively forgettable and lackluster in comparison to its far superior compatriots. If these tracks were on their own, they'd probably be a lot stronger, but in the context of such an interest album, with such high quality tracks surrounding them, some of the songs do fall slightly short.
All in all, it's a really great album. While there are some weaker moments, they're far outweighed by the strong ones. If you like diverse bands, or albums that have a tonne of different sounds and feels, this is definitely one to check out. All We Know is certainly going to be added to my regular rotation, that's for certain.
8.5 out of 10 stars.
All We Know is out now via Arising Empire.