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As It Is - 'The Great Depression' Album Review


Stage I: Denial

1. The Great Depression

2. The Wounded World

3. The Fire, The Dark

Stage II: Anger

4. The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)

5. The Handwritten Letter

6. The Question, The Answer

Stage III: Bargaining

7. The Reaper (ft. Aaron Gillespie)

8. The Two Tongues (Screaming Salvation)

9. The Truth I’ll Never Tell

Stage IV: Acceptance

10. The Haunting

11. The Hurt, The Hope

12. The End

Brighton Emo Pop Punk connoisseurs As It Is truly come of age with their third album, ‘The Great Depression’. It is majestic, it has magnificent songs, it has mighty, mighty hooks, it has mountainous riffs and it has a message! What more do you need in an album?

This record is perhaps what might have been called a concept album back in the day. There is a story to it and all the songs are thematically linked around an exploration of how our society sees and deals with mental illness through the eyes and the mind of the records protagonist, the Poet. The album is broken into four parts; Denial, Anger, Bargaining and Acceptance. Every song is full to the brim of soul, passion and emotion.

At its core and on perhaps a casual listen you might be forgiven for seeing this offering as another excellent offering that follows the coat tails of Fall Out Boy, Panic At The Disco and others. But give this a proper listen and you will find so much more. First single “The Wounded World” has a manic feel reminiscent of the Prodigy when they get their Rock mojo on. Title track “The Great Depression” has a poppy Post Punk feel that eases you in with a relatively minimal opening before a full out layered attack on your senses. The anger is simmering in this song, before boiling over in stage II beginning with “The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)”. If this record makes just one person think more positively about their mental state or helps someone lucky enough to have never experienced the black dog to understand someone who has then it will all have been worth it.

This is a brave album for a band to make, As It Is have stretched themselves and not gone down the comfortable route of letting someone else do the agitating and caring. Brighton based powerful and passionate vocalist Patty Walters, riffmeister and vocalist Ben Langford-Biss, ballistic bassist Alistair Testo and ace sticksman Patrick Foley ought to be very, very proud of this album. Any band that chooses not to play it safe has my vote. This set will be stunning in a live environment especially “The Fire, The Dark”, “The Two Tongues (Screaming Salvation)” and the immaculate harmonies of “The End”. This album should be more than enough to take As It Is into the big league. A great album which I am sure will grace many of the best albums of 2018 lists at the end of the year!

Review - Bill Adamson

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