In an interview with Spinner, guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba had this to say about the album's sonic direction:
This record is a rock record but our punk rock upbringing definitely shines through, more so than our last few records … The vibe is similar to our humble beginnings. It's a step forward but I also think it has glimmers of our past in it … We went with a less-is-more approach on this record. A lot of it is just one guitar rather than overdubs or three or four guitars … We wanted a record that we could easily play live. For the most part, it's pretty bare bones while still sounding full and big.