The transformation As It Is underwent when creating 2018’s third LP The Great Depression was stark. Trading in a clean-cut, peppy pop-punk sound and image in favour of something darker, heavier and more steeped in theatrics, it was a bold move, but one that largely paid off for the trio. Not content to replicate that formula for their new album, I WENT TO HELL AND BACK sees Patty Walters and co. settle on a sound somewhere in between the darkness of their last record and the more upbeat stylings of their early material.
It’s a decision that pays dividends throughout. The dark, spiky pop-rock of IDGAF and I LIE TO ME are representative of the more measured approach As It Is take throughout I WENT TO HELL AND BACK, while the sprightly guitar melodies of I CAN’T TAKE IT allow the talents of guitarist Ronnie Ish – who’s stepped up to the fore creatively in the absence of the departed Ben Langford-Biss – to shine.