Four Year Strong
Enemy of the World


4.0
excellent

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
May 29th, 2010 | 82 replies | 28,191 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sounding two and a half years stronger than last time

It must really suck to be Set Your Goals right now. Why, you ask? Because a middle of the road group is now a threat to that California band’s status of Warp Tour headlining/critical appeasement, king-of-the-hill-dom. It’s true; the statement made by Scott Heisel in Alternative Press last year – the title of the opening cut to Enemy of the World – was indeed factual at the time, considering Four Year Strong's and Set Your Goals' activities in the summer of ‘09 when that magazine was published: the latter group was releasing their ticket to the big times with the ironically titled This Will Be The Death Of Us – even Hayley Williams was all over that album, mind you – whereas the prior band were behind the times (literally), releasing a sub-par 90s covers album, Explains It All, that made fans and critics alike scoff and shake their heads. Four Year Strong were obviously tired from two years of continuous touring, tried their luck at the easy way out, but were then instead chided for their failings.

Leave it to producer ‘The Machine’ to beat Four Year Strong back into shape. Indeed, the renowned producer’s work is one of the reasons why Enemy of the World soars to unexpected heights in 2010. Distorted guitars sound as if reinforced by shotgun fire and volcanic explosions – it’s the closest to metal that hardcore/pop-punk has ever come – and the vocal melodies, especially those fist-in-the-air gang vocals, emit in authentic-like, front-of-the-concert fashion, further strengthening the hooks thrice-fold. This is not like the band’s sophomore release, Rise Or Die Trying, where the record flows through its course as if uninterrupted, moments synching with too much ease, quickly being forgotten within seconds of their arrival. No, Enemy of the World makes every effort to define itself in a league of very routine and same-y albums. It demands your attention, and once through, you’ll be more than willing to give it back to the album again and again.

Leading up to Enemy of the World’s release, vocalist and guitarist Dan O’Connor stated that “on this record, we concentrated on having like one cohesive song from start to finish that really sounded like it belonged together.” From the sound of it, Four Year Strong’s efforts were not in vain, as Enemy of the World is a very consistent album; tracks like the aforementioned opener and the “Oh, Oh, Oh”-filled title track are summer anthems originally released on the eve of spring, both bookending an album with succulently catchy tunes piled on top of each other in the middle. Lyrically, though, the band choose to stay with the standard issues of women (“The Body Pays The Bill$” and “Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride”) and that 'us against the world' battle position (“Flannel Is The Color Of My Energy” and “Enemy Of The World”). This tends to limit Four Year Strong’s target audience, to be honest, but at the same time, however, it does seem to fittingly capture the angst of youth. It can be trite and/or trying at times, but the mood Four Year Strong invoke make the subjects seem fitting in context of the music.

I’d go ahead and just rename this album Enemy of Genre-Aping Boredom, as what’s presented here is fresh and really just plain exciting. This isn’t another dime-of-the-dozen, modern Lifetime-fix, yet at the same time, this isn’t exactly revolutionary either. Enemy of The World is just all the qualities of the hardcore/pop-punk sub-genre expanded upon and made bombastic: gang vocals, catchy choruses, pop-punk riffs, and a youthful context. It makes recent offerings by Veara and The Wonder Years seem pigeonholed in those dreadful sub-genre stereotypes by comparison, and, yes, it even gives Set Your Goals' most recent a run for its money. Four Year Strong now two and a half years stronger – they may have an enemy in the world, but they won't find very much opposition from this reviewer.



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3.7
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
May 29th 2010



5784 Comments


it's been out for a while (March), but is being released in a couple of days in the UK (31st) and I wanted to possibly strike some more interest in this. I didn't initially think id give it a four, but it's really just all around great stuff.

TheSpirit
May 29th 2010



17171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Interesting Jared very interesting

Digging: Rx Bandits - Gemini, Her Majesty

Ponton
Emeritus
May 29th 2010



5784 Comments


you know, i think you'd absolutely love this album spirit js

It seems can't ever fully run away from my roots

AggravatedYeti
May 29th 2010



7684 Comments


Worcester represent!!! : |

great review:

I’d go ahead and just rename this album Enemy of Genre-Aping Boredom,

I chortled haaard.

dansxdead
May 29th 2010



438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I love this cd. Good review man.

Skimaskcheck
May 29th 2010



2360 Comments


Four Year Strong a 4 from Jared? didn't see that one coming!

nice read!

even Haley Williams

Hayley by the way

Ponton
Emeritus
May 29th 2010



5784 Comments


thanks gaz, apparently my elitist attitude is weak today, probably will drop it to 2.5 tomorrow or something ;)

good catch, I guess I don't pay as much attention to her as everybody seems to these days. should be fixed

cvlts
May 29th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Fuck y'all motherfuckers who thought I was crazy for giving this a 4!

lol sooo glad this is gettin some more attention.
Great review once again, Jared.

Ponton
Emeritus
May 29th 2010



5784 Comments


Thanks johnny, glad to see you weren't offended that i went ahead and reviewed this even you already did a great job with yours.


TheSpirit
May 29th 2010



17171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll give it a listen later in your honor

Ponton
Emeritus
May 29th 2010



5784 Comments


nah, its cool. I was being sarcastic, pretty sure you'd hate this.

I think Jerry over at rrr really really loves this, his review for it was great

kingjulian
May 29th 2010



1297 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome album. Awesome review. Pos'd.

Ponton
Emeritus
May 29th 2010



5784 Comments


thanks man

ThePalestMexican
May 29th 2010



2816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Surprised by this release, never been a fan but there is some good hardcore/pop punk

Spec
May 29th 2010



27060 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This album was such a surprise. After the suck of their first one, it sounds like they grew balls and started making music that somewhat relates to the beards they sport so proud!

Douglas
May 29th 2010



9061 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Surprising how catchy this album is

Crymsonblaze
May 29th 2010



7479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oooh I really love this.

LG
May 30th 2010



3049 Comments


Oh their gonna be unstoppable when they reach 4 years strong.

VicariousIntent
May 30th 2010



1593 Comments


Love this band. Great review man.

N1h1l1ty
June 6th 2010



12 Comments


Wasted Time is just ... i think ive been spinning that song while sleeping lol.



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