Sometimes waiting pays off.
It’s now the last quarter of 2016, and we finally have the sophomore effort from All Get Out, Nobody Likes a Quitter. The band’s last full length, The Season, was released all the way back in September of 2011. Now widely considered something of a cult classic, that record was followed up four years later with the Movement EP, an effort meant to reflect the pace and energy of the band’s live show. Now almost a year later, we have All Get Out’s second full length, and it was worth every (im)patient day we waited for it.
Album opener “Room to Talk” serves as a perfect transition from the end of Movement. Listening to Movement and Nobody Likes a Quitter back-to-back, the last chord finishes ringing out on “All My Friends are Dead,” and then picks right up again at the beginning of “Room to Talk” with a powerful full-band punch. This energy lasts all of the first verse, leading the listener to believe they’re about to get a massive chorus, but the band stops short, subverting this expectation and giving the first taste of the introspection that is present throughout the album. “I felt unsure,” frontman Nate Hussey sings, “Like was it me / Am I not normal?” It’s the first hint that we’re getting a less aggressive, more thoughtful, and more calculated version of All Get Out than we’ve heard previously.
Much of this change of pace is the result of Hussey’s collaboration with Andy Hull and Robert McDowell from Manchester Orchestra, who not only produced, but also helped write for this record. “Andy really held me accountable to the meaning of the songs.” Hussey admits, “We’d go over lyrics and he’d ask me, ‘What are you trying to say?’” This meticulous songwriting is on full display during songs such as “Empty Nest” and “ATX,” where themes of self-doubt and personal upheaval are so well conveyed that synesthesia starts to kick in. In “Room to Talk,” the refrain “What do I know” is introduced and shows up again in “Home,” the first of a few lyrical and musical tropes repeated across multiple songs on the album. This kind of connectivity, coupled with the perfectly balanced, consistent production, gives it a real sense of cohesion. While each song stands on it’s own perfectly well (each of the pre-release singles was better than the last), the album is absolutely best consumed as a whole.
Hussey’s lyrics draw influence from so many aspects of life it’s impossible to not relate. Internal monologues, (“Home”) discussions with God, (“Wait List”) even debating the merits of moving from South Carolina to Texas serve as lyrical ammunition. This band’s ability to write hard-hitting songs is nothing short of incredible. Nobody Likes a Quitter is All Get Out’s best offering yet, which is saying something considering just how good The Season and Movement are. It leaves me excited to see just what else Hussey and co. are capable of producing in the future.