Review Summary: omg pop-core"I'm afraid to be, just an example of inconsistency"
Those above lyrics are the main chorus line from the title track Enemy of the World
, the latest pop/punk offering from Four Year Strong. In many ways these lyrics hold quite a meaning to the world of pop/punk - for example bands like All Time Low and A Day to Remember fit this lyrical cliché perfectly. But, Four Year Strong have successfully written a catchy, hook laden and - most importantly - a consistent
pop/punk album in Enemy of the World
, making the threat of their lyrical musings seem harmless.
Enemy of the World
is the sophomore release by the band, and major label debut, and from the opening seconds of the first song "It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now" you can automatically tell that the production values have hugely improved, plus the band have wiped out everything that made their debut album so arduous to listen to. The guitar sound is ‘gruffer’, the duel vocals are more melodic and the harmonies are much stronger and not auto-tuned, the musicianship (if possible) is even tighter than before and obviously not layered as heavily. Basically this album is Four Year Strong giving their middle finger and a big ‘F You’ to the genre of pop/punk. Vocalists O’Connor and Day have got rid of the over layered vocals found previously, and sing like they deserve to be wearing the beards that they support so well. Take "What the Hell Is a Gigawatt" for example, the call and response of the vocals are in full effect with clever interplay from vocalist to vocalist in the chorus and verses, there is a much more punchier guitar sound coming into effect in a fully fledged breakdown, giving it a more ‘punk’ sound than anything done previous by the band, as the guitar tone isn’t as clean like the bands previous work. Though don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the band have suddenly turned to the Converge side of heavy, though it is a pleasant sound to hear the guitar cut through the production, instead of being sickly sweet.
Lyrically the band is pretty cliché for the pop/punk scene. Nothing ground breaking is achieved, and no government bodies are concerned on their views:
"Well I can see you're waiting but I don't care
To fill this this whole place up with gasoline
And blow the top off this whole damn thing
Yea cause I don't care"
While this could be thought of as a guilty pleasure, Four Year Strong is too catchy to hide. Their formula of breakdowns and melodic pop/punk choruses work so perfectly that this will be an album that will be really hard for any listener to put down. Four Year Strong have greatly improved their all around sound on Enemy of the World
and have proven, that they are definitely not "an example of inconsistency", but a damn good example to any pop/punk bands out there.