All Get Out - Kodak (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

All Get Out

Kodak (2022)


All Get Out will forever be one of the bands I'll plug, as evidenced here at the 'Org. It's a shame more fans here haven't caught onto them, but I'm hoping this album -- Kodak -- will be the one to do it. And don't get me wrong, it's not because I think it's about time folks come to their senses and join in the parade; I really do feel like AGO's consistently creative output and dynamic storytelling need a lot more air-time.

Now, one of the main reasons I latched onto them was because they had that Manchester Orchestra sound down pat. No surprise given they're spiritual siblings to Andy Hull and Co., with Hull also having worked on albums past with AGO. But I think what really makes Nathan Hussey and his crew stand out a lot is that Manchester Orchestra doesn't even sound like Manchester Orchestra anymore -- so AGO easily fills that quaint gap of warm indie meets novelesque post-hardcore.

Whether it's the acoustic "Clinical Trials" or "Soma" (which feels like a direct continuation from The Season or Movement), AGO have stuck to this sound, never wavering and in that sense, creating a brand loyalists will always gravitate to. However, it's very accessible for say, fans of Kevin Devine, and especially Brand New. The latter itch can be easily scratched from that slow-picky to loud outburst of "Feeling Well," and the twinkly indie sequel that flows in right after, "DFR".

These three songs, off the cuff, aren't just a melodic introduction, though -- they're an expressive dive into mental health, life, love and loss; again, all components fans of Hussey's slow crooning and hoarse bellowing are familiar with. To that point, commendations must be given for his writing and overall delivery style, which are tempered back a bit to allow differentiation from his prose-like solo work. Other elements I've appreciated that reappear include the anthemic, chorus-driven shoutalongs of "Walk Me Through It" which reiterate a comfort zone and skin well-worn over a decade -- something I was worried about when Mel Washington left, thinking AGO wouldn't be able to keep that momentum up. Boy, am I glad to be wrong. 

And what further has me amped for the future is I feel like AGO's sending subtle signals that they're on the cusp of evolving and ready to embody a new frontier. It's evidenced via the hard-rock tinge of "AA Almanac", reminding me how The Wonder Years kept switching up stances, yet pulling it all off so smoothy. In the wake, however, they're able to dance in between eras seamlessly. I'd really like to see AGO go down that road, heck, maybe even experimenting with some poppier tracks. 

Ultimately, my minor gripe is the record's a bit too long, with the last couple tracks feeling more like B-sides or stuff cut from an EP that got stuck in. Which sucks, because AGO's EPs are usually freaking brilliant. These five minute-plus tracks -- "Quitter Talk" and "Know Your Tell" -- just felt like they deserved their own creative space, as they didn't match Kodak's mosaic at all. A lot of which comes down to AGO's strength on LPs being shorter, punchier songs. This should have been distilled down, but hey, good music is good music.  Overall, they don't detract to the point the record's killed off. There are simply too many amazing songs to soak in, reaffirming AGO is moving from strength to strength in what I believe is a niche space in the industry.