Willard Overstreet and the Highborn Kingsmen have forged a fantastic sound out of everything that was great and good about pop and rock past. Not in a plagiaristic or nostalgic sort of way, this is certainly music of the here and now, but their own sound does suggest that they do have very good record collections and no shortage of taste.
Right from the masterful opener, Give It All Away, there are hints of Petty and Springsteen and from there they pick at some wonderful music threads from the sonic carpet of creativity. Light is bruised and brooding with a slightly arabesque guitar run adding some exotic flavours, Great Life is celebratory, warm and shimmering and Don’t Wake Me has that pent up angst and energy that drove the new-wave and punk-pop scenes so effectively.
What All We Are shows is that it is just as important to know where you come from musically as it is to know where you are going. In the case of this album, if the reference points of the album’s sonic embarkation are cool, classic and clearly signed, the final destination is just as exciting.