New drum cover: All Time Low – A Love Like War

Otto

Otto

What’s up on Tuesday? We have a new drum cover out: All Time Low’s new single A Love Like War! I guess my cover is among the first takes on the song at YouTube. And that’s because the song itself is still fresh from the oven being released just a while ago.

A Love Like War is a track from the extended version of Don’t Panic album. As you may know, the four of us reviewed the song right after it’s release. In our post the drums of the song got praised for being interesting.

During the years following All Time Low, I’ve always liked how their drummer Rian Dawson keeps his drumming to a complex level and includes  the traditional punk beats even in the most produced pop songs. He’s been kind of an idol for me in that aspect as well. After all what distinguishes a traditional pop song from a pop punk song is to a large extent drumming.

Rian’s drumming is interesting in a way that he makes it sound very simple. He’s got quite a powerful take on drumming, so his complexity lies on the accenting rather than mere speed. I think this makes ATL-songs easy targets for drum covers. YouTube is full of daring drum covers in which the players often underestimate Rian’s drum lines.

Rian Dawson

I remember hearing A Love Like War for the first time, and immediately pointed out that Rian has not lost his touch. Actually this song has very complicated drums compared to earlier ATL-songs. Everything – from verses to choruses, not to mention the C part – has been really composed, so the drums are not just a time keeper in the background.

We had a REALLY rough time trying to upload the cover to YouTube. And that was because of the copyright issues with the original ATL-track. As you know, some record labels block their artists’ music from YouTube with automatic algorithms that identify and block the forbidden songs. It seems that ATL’s return to Hopeless Records brought a stricter policy in the Internet presence… Tom did like 5 different mixes of the drum cover’s audio, and all of them got blocked. Finally we had to basically destroy the original audio to almost unidentifiable. It’s sad, because hearing the original track in the background is essential to drum covers. But hey, now people can’t blame the drummer for hiding behind the original drums’ volume! 😀

The song starts with a verse. The beat here is bouncy with powerful snare hits and tom accents. To be honest, I didn’t really like the beat, and it doesn’t fit in my style of playing. The tom accents sound and especially feel dull when played.

After the verse the kind of prechorus kicks in with Vic Fuentes’ vocals. At the first sight this seemed to be the hardest part of the song. I started to decrypt it with the pumping bass drum that keeps the part together. In the end the hand accents are pretty easy to spot. The chorus that follows is basically the verse beat played on a crash cymbal. The fill in the middle adds a little twist. I’m actually quite proud for figuring out how that little fill is played.

The first chorus bunch is of course followed by a repeat of the verse and choruses. After them comes the actual hardest part of the song, the C part. The beat on it is very cool but hard to figure out. I started to unravel it by finding out where the hihat accents are played, and then added the toms in between. It’s one of those beats that need 100% focusing to avoid scattering. The C part’s beat is repeated in the ending of the song.

The end of the song is smoking! And that’s literally! Jesse employed our old ‘n worthy smoke machine and found out it’s still working fine! He had some problems with the remote control, so if he gets it fixed the next drum cover is shot behind a smoke screen!

All in all, this is not the easiest All Time Low song to cover. But like all of them, the hardest part is not figuring out the little twists here and there, but to reach the powerful feeling of the beats and their accents. One practical advice could be to use larger and heavier sticks when playing these type of songs.

I guess I’m starting a tradition in covering All Time Low’s new singles. Last summer I made a drum cover of the first single The Reckless And The Brave from All Time Low’s latest album Don’t Panic.

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