A lot of people will inevitably have a band or artist that they don’t get or understand. It’s not an indictment on the act themselves – most of the time, there’s nothing wrong with them musically – rather a simple statement of fact that they’ve somehow not been able to pass through the barrier between an act the listener likes, and just another one they’ve been exposed to. And for this writer in particular, All Get Out have met those exact criteria. They’re perfectly fine sonically and fit into the modern emo landscape with little fuss, but perhaps the meteoric resurgence of emo in the last few years has led them to fall by the wayside as more impressive acts have cut through with greater force. It’s hard to begrudge All Get Out’s place in the genre, but their past material has inspired little more than a shrug and a cursory “yeah, that was okay”.
Apparently that’s not a common opinion though, especially given how much All Get Out’s supposed status as one of emo’s most underrated bands has been highlighted in the run-up to No Bouquet, an album propped up by the mighty claims of being the one that’ll finally see this band getting the appreciation they deserve. And yet, there’s something about statements like that that just don’t inspire any sort of emotion whatsoever anymore, partly because this sort of hyperbole is absolutely nothing new in the world of music promotion, and partly because it tends to be a regurgitation of more or less the same phraseology every time. And that’s no sleight on All Get Out; if anything, No Bouquet contains some of their strongest moments to date, but they’re still yet to forge out a true identity for themselves, and it winds up as yet another solid but ultimately anonymous album.
And there’s no pleasure in having to say that because you can really tell how hard All Get Out are trying here, but even when it comes through the most, it’s increasingly hard to become all that impressed. There are definitely layers that shine brighter than most and make an impact – as a vocalist, Nathan Hussey has the sort of elasticated expressiveness reminiscent of Adam Lazzara at his best, and when that ties in to typically emotional content, though framed from the point of view of a band who are well aware that they’ve been slogging through the underground all this time to little avail like on Rosé and Value, it’s easy to see the image of a band throwing everything they have to the fore. Even on a simpler level, All Get Out are at the very least capable of strong hooks and melodies; the wincing, downbeat nature of First Contact and However Long are positively dripping with modern emo’s tense catharsis, with quieter, more reflective moments filling the gaps when necessary.
And that’s where the big problem comes in, in that while All Get Out are great at hitting these beats and performing in a way that’s expected of them (Hussey even has the quintessentially American twang to his vocals), there’s not a lot that moves them away from that into a space of their own. Sure, not every band can be enormously original, but there really isn’t anything here that even hints at that being a possibility, maybe apart from an occasionally smarter lyrical bent. It’s where a lot of the assertions of All Get Out simply falling into place within the scene and not making much of an impact come from; there’s a warmth and a ruggedness to the production, but it’s borderline identical to a slew of similar acts, and the clear emotionality is potent, but no more so than most others. In terms of a culmination of the stronger ideals of modern emo, No Bouquet does fine there, but it’s not going any sizable way to build an identity for a band who, now three albums in, desperately need one by now.
Thus, it’s probably become evident that All Get Out still aren’t doing much to click, even if No Bouquet is a tentative but noted step in the right direction. There’s definitely more to like here than previous albums, balanced out by the ambivalence that’s often come alongside them wherever they’ve gone, but still doing just enough to nab a net positive overall. Of course, it would be great if All Get Out could pivot towards something great that could see them raise the bar and justify the hype that’s surrounded them elsewhere, but this isn’t it, even if it’s probably the closest they’ve gotten yet. Still, it’s fine for what it is, and even if there could be more here, there’s a lot of respect to All Get Out for roughing it out for as long as they have.
For fans of: Manchester Orchestra, The Hotelier, Microwave
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘No Bouquet’ by All Get Out is released on 30th November on Rude Records.