Review Summary: Not many bands can pull this off...A Day To Remember
Jeremy Mckinnon - Vocals
Joshua Woodard - Bass
Tom Denney - Guitar
Alex Shelnutt - Drums
Neil Westfall - Guitar
Produced by Eric Area and A Day to Remember
Label: Victory Records
Original Release Date: January 23, 2007
A Day To Remember
. I think with all the atrocities and seriousness in the music industry these days with band feuds and band civil wars there aren’t many bands around that seem like they are in it for the fun. This is the first release/band in awhile that I’ve come to terms with that I feel like the band is having fun with what they do and these guys in this band feel like they grew up as a kid who loved music just like any of us. I could throw out formulas and genre bull*** that probably the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind but who invented the rules anyway? A Day To Remember is a band much like Set Your Goals which has the furious, fast, fun, influences of modern day pop-punk and combines it with crushing breakdowns and hardcore pace screaming/chanting. For all of the music elitists out there, this is simply a nightmare.
It’s just a known thing that a lot of people who like pop-punk and alternative rock isn’t so much for screaming, hardcore vocals (even though times have changed) and it’s most definite then most of the hardcore and metal core kids cant stand the “whining” in pop-punk. It’s a genre clash, and it’s an interesting mix for a band to bring to the table. Another band that’s hitting it off big is doing the same thing and a lot of people are in love with them, they are known as Set Your Goals. Already though if you’re a huge Set Your Goals fan you won’t need to read any longer because this will be your nirvana. For those who are non-believers or just those who are ignorant to the differences in genres, open up your ears to probably the music industries next big cash in.
For Those Who Have Heart
If you’re a fan of Set Your Goals
the first song “Fast Forward to 2012” is basically going to be right up your alley. The song begins at a blazing hardcore saddle up pace with melodic vocals that tell of the story of how this band started from rags and are now on there next (2nd) album and are showing why there here to stay. Chants and screams come into the song after the chorus and really the first thing you’ll notice is the diversity in vocals. This isn’t some bulimic emo kid trying to scream with his whiny nerdy vocals. It simply sounds like two different people doing the vocals where he can actually sing on a pop-punk level and scream with a heavy, throaty, brash. “Speak Of The Devil” starts up with hardcore style of guitar and the whole song feels like it’s rising upwards to a final climax. The song construction here comes with screamed out verses and a melodic singing chorus. What’s good about this song construction is the fact that the chorus is where the hook will catch you by the ear for it’s catchiness and sing-a-along styling. Very early into this album you can feel the vibe of the fun, fast pace, and chug like breaks.
“The Danger In Starting A Fire” starts off feeling like an armor for sleep song in every element… leaving most people with a big WTF? When the song develops into itself the verses funnel out into a more post-hardcore vibe with guitars doing the whole chug and pinched harmonic thing. Staying true to the hardcore feel and not being some washed up breakdown band comes a lot of chants where I deem its appropriate in the music. The chants are something that freshen up the song since they come at climatic points of the music and usually will make you chant along with it. The breakdown in this song particularly stands out at the end of the 2 minute mark for death metal like vocals that feel like more growls then anything and a metal core chug and shriek style of palm muted open dropped down chords and then high strung upper neck variation. I know I’m a sucker for that but for a band that was just singing with melody and catchiness to end a song like that… Wow? “The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle” is the single off of “For Those Who Have Heart”
. The song is definitely listener friendly and is based off of a lot of hook but I wouldn’t expect less from Victory Records. The song uses just a lot of octave chords and palm muted power chords which feels so generic compared to these previous songs but the chorus is indeed what a single should be… catchy and sing-able. The song definitely feels like it’d appeal a lot more to the pop-punk community since it’s basically an all out pop-punk song that has it’s moments of wanting to be “tough”. It’s probably a song that you’ll be bound to hear since it’s a single but I wouldn’t recommend it.
“Monument” washes out any bad taste that the previous song lasted in your ears depending on who you are. The song continues on a pop-punk vibe and reminds me of Saosin a lot. If anything you’d have to appreciate the melodic vocals for not being nasally and whiney, but more high strung and catchy. The thing here is that the pop-punk vocals use a lot of licks in the hardcore style of lyrics which feel very uplifting, motivating, and unified.
I like that a lot. A song like this and the single though are almost throughout sung melodically and that won’t appeal to a lot of the hardcore elites. My favorite part of this song though is the build up at the end where is takes one last hardcore swing at the listener. The chanted vocals of “This is my time to shine” just feels so motivating and uplifting to me and leaves me with anticipation for the rest of the album and reminds me of old school Comeback Kid.
Unfournately, “The Price We Pay” is probably one of the biggest let downs to a previous song I ever felt. The song has a dead slow pace to it’s originally high octane hardcore styling. It’s acoustic and the vocals didn’t really please me as much as they could of. This is one of the worst song placements I could of ever imagined since it kills almost all of the momentum this album was snowballing before. To be honest I could of done just without this song since it feels like a filler more than anything and also because…
…“Colder Than My Heart, If You Can Imagine” brings everything back to full speed ahead. More recently I’ve been listening to LoveHateHero and this song definitely has the vibe that band did in “White Lies”. The vocals in this song really feel like they peak on a melodic level where Jeremy reaches higher notes then ever before and overall it feels nice and fresh on the ears. Guitar like here feels like the standard of most post-hardcore bands and nothing really too flashy. The drummer on the other hand feels like he takes an active role in being the back bone of this band and just like many other hardcore bands. “Show ‘Em The Hopes” is a Set Your Goals vibe indefinitely. The song starts off at that blazing hardcore pace with chants and never really lets go if only to smash you in the side of the head with its breakdown. I’m 90% certain that if you’re a Set Your Goals fan this is a good example of the songs that will please you off this album. This song particularly feels like the guitar players finally woke up and started veering off without the rest of the band going in it’s own direction. Little hooks and more advanced riffing with pinched harmonics are finally delightful but where have they been for the other songs?
“A Shot In The Dark” is where the band is really putting there foot down. It feels like they are going to continue going in the right direction now and not look back. This song is more metal core like than anything with its style of vocaling and chugging of guitars. It doesn’t stay that way but it engulfs the listener with a once again catchy chorus that’s sung. The guitar playing in this album woke up in the 2nd half. Maybe it’s me being a sucker for Metalcore but even the pinched harmonics sound a lot better then most bands recorded versions. “A Shot In The Dark” would definitely be one of the highlights of this album for me and a song to recommend to the common person.
“Here’s To The Past” starts out with it’s title chanted and continues the album in a great direction. The drumming in the verse is something that feels very nice, that you’d hear from a band like Set It Straight or even Modern Life Is War. It’s obvious that this band has a lot of ranged influences and if you can’t sense that by now you need to quit music. The catchiness is just overflowing out of this song. “I Heard It’s The Softest Thing Ever” has an introduction that builds up over 15 seconds. After that it releases a fury attack of double bass and palm muted guitars with deep throat vocals. The song keeps that fury attack in the verses and has an all out singing chorus. By now you should either love this or hate this… “Start The Shooting” is a finale that can’t be missed. The song is a little bit of everything all of the previous songs were (thank god no acoustic). It’s a great way to leave the listener with it’s Saosin like chorus and its throaty screaming in between here and there.
The Danger In Starting a Fire
A Day To Remember is a band that’s going to get the same criticism that Set Your Goals has in mixing two genres that don’t particularly have people who like each others music. A lot of bands split up because the members in the band couldn’t agree on a sound but in this band the band members don’t agree on a sound but instead gives the listener a diversified effort of pop-punk, alternative, and hardcore genres. For people who aren’t music elitists who rep there one genre of ignorance hard, this is definitely not the band for you. You’ll be able to find the style you don’t like and complain but that’s the problem if a band goes out on a limb like this. It’s hard to find people who like both genres but I feel like A Day To Remember did a good enough job on a whole band effort that even if you don’t like one or another of the genres, it still might win you over. The only thing to fear now… is this the new sound these labels are going to cash in on?
+ Song Diversity is healthy for your ears
+ “Two-Faced Vocals” (sounds like two totally different people)
+ Drumming above par
- Hard to appeal to everyone when it is everything
- Album length is short and should be even shorter…