ALL GET OUT have occupied a respected little corner of the indie world for a decade and a half now. Many are quick to point to the band’s 2011 debut The Season as a particular high point, but their output has remained consistently strong – albeit wholly unhurried – ever since. Naturally then, their fourth full-length album Kodak is no exception. A reasonably long-awaited follow-up to 2018’s No Bouquet, this is a record that’s easy to get lost in – one that mines that sweet middle ground between alt-rock and emo for often intensely moving results. It’s an album worth paying proper attention to, immersing yourself in its vivid lyrics and intricate music alike.
As it pretty much always has been for ALL GET OUT, the story-telling element to Kodak is particularly powerful. Centred around the concept of small town America, the record builds a richly-detailed world in which anger, anxiety, hope, beauty and more all meet. Frontman Nathan Hussey remains the focal point throughout, his emotive, confessional style inviting listeners to lean in and listen closely. Opener Clinical Trial does this outright – a lone guitar and a few sparse synths backing Hussey’s mournful vocals as he paints a picture of a failed escape attempt, perhaps from one of the small towns in question, or maybe just from those all-too-common feelings of depression or defeat.
Indeed, there’s a real sense of melancholy that runs through all of Kodak’s ten tracks. It’s never particularly overwhelming – thanks mostly to Hussey and co.’s impressive command of concepts like melody and delicacy – but with the record grounded so intensely in reality it’s no great surprise that a lot of the pictures it paints are coloured with sadness and struggle. Take back-to-back singles and early highlights Feeling Well and DFR for example – both united by a simple repeated mantra of “I don’t feel right about it now” – or the typically millennial-esque despondency of fifth track Soma, this one inviting listeners to “Come be tired with me / Come not exist here with me” as it asks questions like “Are you not having babies like me?” and “Are you working more than it seems?”.
Despite all this, there’s also a real warmth to Kodak. For the most part, Hussey’s vocals are sweet and melodic, these drawing established yet welcome comparisons to MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA’s Andy Hull. The band behind him create a similarly inviting atmosphere, often leaning heavily on clean guitars and accessible alt-rock sensibilities. These are dynamic, varied tracks, stuffed full of solid hooks and produced to fittingly widescreen standards. They can even get pretty intense when they need to, including not least in a second pair of highlights provided by Walk Me Through It and recent single AA Almanac. The former ends with surely the heaviest moment on the record – a genuinely head-banging riff bolstered by a powerful electronic throb – while the latter hides arguably the album’s best chorus amid six-minutes of driving and dynamic emotional post-hardcore.
Perhaps the only real criticism here is that Kodak ends on a couple of quite long tracks. Both Quitter Talk and Know Your Tell land at around the five-and-a-half-minute mark, and while neither are particularly weak – especially not the former – they just don’t seem to hold the listener’s attention quite as well as the eight which came before them. To be honest though, that might actually say more about the rest of the record. Kodak is an incredibly strong addition to the ALL GET OUT canon. It’s a record that’s easy to get to grips with, and yet also one that lends itself to repeated listens. Ultimately what it comes down to is a collection of brilliantly-written songs, which at the end of the day is what all this is all about.
Kodak is set for release on June 3rd via Rude Records/Equal Vision Records.
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