x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

All-American Rejects: When the World Comes Dow

Nineties revivalism is built into the pop-punk milieux; their respective fountainheads are, after all, Green Day and Weezer.

All-American Rejects' Nick Wheeler and Tyson Ritter.
All-American Rejects' Nick Wheeler and Tyson Ritter.

Nineties revivalism is built into the pop-punk milieux; their respective fountainheads are, after all, Green Day and Weezer. Still, it comes as a bit of a surprise to hear Oklahoma's All-American Rejects channelling Crowded House, the soundtrack to Young Guns II and the fiddle sound of Dexys Midnight Runners on their third album, When the World Comes Down. These are odd choices, motivated more, it would appear, by guilelessness than hipster contrarianism. A couple of years ago the chief Reject, Tyson Ritter, claimed that he'd only seen four rock gigs in his life aside from the shows his own band had played. We aren't talking a great scholar of popular music here. That may explain why, other than its brazenly uncool source material, When the World... holds so few surprises. Bright, hooky choruses abound and the lyrics strike the expected bratty attitudes. "I wanna I wanna I wanna touch you/You wanna touch me too," sings Ritter on the opening track, I Wanna, before fast-forwarding to the end of love's life cycle to deliver the poisoned kiss-off: "Truth be told I miss you/Truth be told I'm lying". Not a charmer, then, though the sometime Glamour magazine model can probably get away with some churlish manners. As music that aspires to nothing greater than playing in the background of a US teen drama, it's perfectly fine.