I’ve been following As It Is since their second EP, This Mind of Mine, and easily fell in love with the band. Now that I have been listening to Never Happy, Ever After since release (and I still am), I can call this album a true masterpiece created by a talented up and coming band.
The album follows a theme that is all about one person the musician either broke up with or left him and feels that it is all his fault, and the songs “Speak Soft,” “Sorry,” “Dial Tones,” “Concrete” and “Turn Back to Me” portray this in the lyrics. He blames himself for everything that happened between them. This theme makes the album really powerful and repeatable to anyone who lost someone they care about and blame themselves for the break up/why they left.
Never Happy, Ever After starts of strong with “Speak Soft,” and they chose the perfect song to begin the album with. Lead vocalist, Patty Walters holds nothing back, especially in the first five seconds. Those seconds sold me on this song and in turn, the whole record. It shows off Patty’s vocalist capabilities in the very beginning. The absence of instruments in the first three really add something special to this song. Guitarists Andy Westhead and Benjamin Biss create unique guitar riffs, not only on this track, but on the whole album. Lyrics that connect back to the theme include, “Why should I stick around when all I do is let you down.” The musician accepts that he is at fault and already hurt this person before. He could have had a second chance but he knows he will only mess up again.
“Sorry” feels like a true pop punk song, the beginning guitar riff gives off a State Champs vibe, which many pop punk fans will appreciate. The chorus is a beautiful mix between Walters and Biss vocals and how well they blend together. Biss’s deeper voice when singing, “On my own,” transitions nicely into Walter’s higher notes of “I’m trying not to feel ’cause I’m feeling like the world forgot me.”In addition, the band references the title of the album in this song. “I’m just a reader, you’re every chapter. Never happy, ever after.” I like how they took this approach instead of making a title track. It was a unique idea and executed very well.
“Dial Tones” is not only the band’s first single for this album, a fan favorite but an amazing track all around. The guitar riff alongside Patrick Foley’s drums creates a different yet familiar feel to the sound of the album all together. Not only is the chorus my favorite chorus the band’s created but Biss’s vocals are superb. He demonstrates that he can sing softly in the background, which we know and love, but also that he has an aggressive side that is shown off in this song and in only one verse.
“Cause I promised myself I’d never hurt you and I did. If you can’t trust a liar how can you trust me again? I’m running out of ways to say I’m sorry.” These lyrics reflect to the theme of the album once again because the musician continues to blame himself for hurting this person and he does not know how to correct what he has done.
With fast tight drums (especially after the bridge), great guitars and powerful pop punk vocalist, “Concrete” is another one of the tracks that fits in with the pop punk scene. This song is impossible not to love. This song’s lyrics are shown off in a different way that the musician understands who he is and how he acts. “My concrete’s set, it’s permanent, I’m stuck this way and I can never change.” He’s trying to cope with losing this special person that he hurt by accepting this may be how it is supposed to be.
“Turn Back to Me” is the last track that seems to demonstrate the musician blaming himself. The chorus repeats, “It’s all fault and I know it,” he stills wants the person back in his life but because of the previous song, he can now accept being without her by understanding himself.
Never Happy, Ever After is a record that does not get old, in fact it only gets better after each listen. The band did an excellent job creating songs that blend well together and each one has that As It Is feel to it, especially with the guitars, while still creating ones that felt unique and with their own differences. This album is a must have for fans of not only pop punk but the rock lovers all around.