Best of 2016 Playlist

August 9, 2015

Four Year Strong - "Self Titled" Review

I wish I had seen these guys on Warped because I love their new album! I started work on this review around the same time I wrote I the Mighty's "Connector" review, but never got around to posting it until now. Which works out perfectly since this is our inaugural pop punk weekend! 

Four Year Strong is a band that has experienced ups and downs throughout their career. 
In the past the band has been inconsistent in the quality of their albums. They're sound varied from pop punk, to alt. rock, to hardcore punk. Building upon the genius that came from their EP "Go Down in History" these past two years have been the highest points for the band. 

An album that captures the spirit of pop punk while mixing in some heavier influences in a similar fashion to that of A Day to Remember. The only difference, you won't find many metalcore chugged breakdowns on this album. Instead you get punk infused breakdowns that are more melodic than monotonous. Overall the album is full of fast, fun, upbeat tracks. Which is one of the highlights. There is little time for relaxation, you're swept from one face full of energy to the next. The crunch of the guitars, and the intense choruses make this one fun album. I got the best flashback to Sum 41 and their 2nd album while listening to this album. 

"Eating My Words", "Stolen Credit Card" and "Wipe Yourself Off Man You Dead" may start out on the softer side, but as soon as the first verse kicks in, you know that these songs won't sink past 7 on the volume scale. The latter is the only song with a truly chugged breakdown and this is easily overlooked as, for the most part, the track has a certain hard rock flair to it. 

The lead single, "We All Float Down Here" is by far the best song from the album. The mini-breakdown at the start of the chorus is the best part. Simple rhythms from the guitar make for a great riff. And the real breakdown is nothing short of awesome. The quick transitions from verse to verse, breakdown to pop tinged lead guitar parts are genius. 

The opening track is a bit rough to get into, but once you get past the awful static, and screeching sounds, the guitar riff is sublime. An instant head banging number, I love the way the bass acts as the backbone to the guitar's melodies. A perfect blend of the two instruments. The chorus is a a treasure trove of great lines, "Back away! I'm anything but okay. What's the point of living when you're already dead?"

There is room for improvement, as the band don't stray too far from the source material from their 2014 EP. Something a bit diverse would have been nice, but every once in a while, it's nice when a band puts out a simply catchy and energetic album that doesn't take too much work to listen to. 

Summary - 
The band has redeemed themselves with this self titled album! Back and better than ever, it's catchy and full of great sing along moments. Fans of Sum 41 and Chunk! No Captain Chunk! will find the heavier guitar riffs and Alan's vocals ear candy. Hopefully this is the start of a new era for FYS, as this is one of the best releases from the band to date. Is it easycore? No, it's hardcore punk rock mixed with pop punk, which equals something I like to call punk-popcore (ya I came up with that on the spot). The most annoying part of the album is the transition between screechy "The Sound of Your Heart" and "Go Down in History". Even then, that's not that big of a deal. 

Favorite Tracks - 
"We All Float Down Here", it doesn't get much better than this song. But the chorus from "I Hold Myself in Contempt" makes the song a standout, in addition to "Gravity", "Who Cares?", and "Here's to Swimming with Bow Legged Women". 

Rating -