Four Year Strong
Rise Or Die Trying


4.0
excellent

Review

by Josh Howe USER (18 Reviews)
February 19th, 2013 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fun, Catchy, and incredibly enjoyable. The way Pop-Punk is supposed to be.

Rise Or Die Trying is the 2nd LP, from Worcester, Massachusetts, Four Year Strong. Their very unique style blends pop-punk with electronica, plus a few hardcore screams, and the odd breakdown added in. This kind of style may be dismissed at first, but they are able to somehow pull it off with relative ease.

The strange guitar tones are a unique quality in these guys. ''The Take Over'' starts things off preparing us for what lies ahead. This is followed by the awesome ''Prepare To Be Digitally Manipulated'' which officially starts off the album in a fast way. Fantastic vocals from guitarists Dan O'Conner and Alan Day work in perfect harmony, and their back and forth sing-a-longs are brilliantly structured and are quickly able to draw the listener in. Some hardcore-esque screams and a breakdown are a bit strange, but surprisingly don't really detract anything from the song. A great opener.
''Abandon Ship or Abandon All Hope'' continues on the fast start of the album, with a nice guitar riff and some albeit weird lyrics, but the catchiness is infectious.

A massive strength of this album is how incredibly catchy it is. Lead single the awesomely titled ''Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die'' is a great song with beautiful harmony and incredibly good hooks and is my album standout. It is obvious, that this song was written with the intention of it being a crowd favorite at live shows, with a breakdown and crowd sing-a-longs.

''Sad enough to say that alone l could barely light a match, but together we could burn this place down''
This lyric is then followed by a breakdown, thrown in for no apparent reason, but for some reason it just works and adds a different dimension to the song.

The lyrics in songs like ''Catastrophe'', ''Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Hell'' and the humorously titled ''Bada Bing, Wit A Pipe!'' are ultimately weird, but are well written, and many people can definitely relate to the lyrical themes portrayed in these songs.

One problem with this album, some may have is the hardcore screams, and the unnecessary breakdowns, seem like they were chucked in, without much thought into how it would ultimately improve the song. But this is forgotten, once you are into the core of the album, as songs like ''Wrecked Em, Damn Near Killed Em'' and ''Catastrophe'' are blasting through the speakers.

Guitarists and Vocalists Dan O'Conner and Alan Day who are on double duty, combine their guitar playing and vocals really well and they are able to feed off each other. Their vocal styles are very different, but they are able to combine their differing styles really well, to add a little bit of variation. These two are definitely the standouts of this album. The bass is mostly inaudible but Joe Weiss contributes a heavy tone to the couple of breakdowns on here, the drumming is standard from Jake Massuco with no real standout parts. Josh Lyford's synth work is admirable and he also adds something different to each song.

Towards the back end of the album, the record slows down a little bit with ''Beatdown In The Key Of Happy'', ''If He's Here, Who's Runnin Hell'' and ''Maniac (ROD)''. These songs aren't as strong as the ones that came before them, but are by no means bad songs. They definitely end the album on a good note.

The main theme of this album is that it's all supposed to be a lot of fun, and they have certainly achieved that goal. It is a little bit of a shame that they went away from this unique style on their next album ''Enemy Of The World'' but this will always be how many people first heard and fell in love with Four Year Strong.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


50432 Comments


If you think this is ideal pop punk am I sorry for you

Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

joshieboy12345
February 19th 2013


5370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I seriously love this album so much, and thought l would write a review. Although a staff member has already reviewed this, l wanted to give my own thoughts on it. Constructive criticism as always, is welcomed.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


50432 Comments


"blends pop-punk with electronica"

I haven't heard this whole album so I'm not sure but, this is probably not true. If there's a bit of keyboard on the album that's doesn't make it the electronic genre

Also just skimming, your paragraphs don't seem very focused and some are like one sentence and good probably be combined with another paragraph. Paragraphs should have intro and concluding sentences which sum everything up

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


8007 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This album is not good sounding to my ears

Digging: Beach Slang - Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street

joshieboy12345
February 19th 2013


5370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thought l spaced everything out well, try and space it out, so it flows better, rather than one long paragraph, but l can see where you are coming from Trebor17. And if this isn't ideal Pop-Punk, please guide me in the right direction.

nononsense
February 19th 2013


3394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah this isn't a very good album. Generic breakdowns and its overproduced, a little too much synth as well. Enemy of the World is so much better.

nononsense
February 19th 2013


3394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ideal pop-punk: Real Friends, Skyway, Heroes For Hire, Major League, Handguns, I Call Fives, Man Overboard, The Story So Far to name a few.

joshieboy12345
February 19th 2013


5370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Skyway good, Heroes For Hire are from a town near where i'm from. Major League are ok, Handguns are good, I Call Fives are decent, Man Overboard don't really like. And The Story So far are awesome. Bit harsh on the album l reckon. It's all just supposed to be a bit of fun.

nononsense
February 19th 2013


3394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Unfortunately going for a fun record doesn't always work. EOTW is a lot better than this.

joshieboy12345
February 19th 2013


5370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I do enjoy EOTW, but not as much as this one.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2013


50432 Comments


Banner Pilot - Collapser

MuhNamesTyler
February 19th 2013


4181 Comments


that bass

Digging: Crooks - Nevermore

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2013


3454 Comments


REAL FRIENDS WOO

Hospital
February 19th 2013


2058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"al Friends, Skyway, Heroes For Hire, Major League, Handguns, I Call Fives, Man Overboard, The Story So Far to name a few."

Not really.

Banner Pilot (as trebor said)
Alkaline Trio (goddamnit - fromheretotheinfirmary)
Saves the day (through being cool/staywhatyouare)
The Lawrence Arms


edit: some of the stuff you posted is catchy, but rating this a 2.5 and then saying any handguns album or major league album is better is questionable!

Hospital
February 19th 2013


2058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hey im no elitist, this is a 4 for me


i was just sayin... handguns? major league? heroes for hire?

and he was mentioning ideal top notch pop punk. just adding in my 2 cents =]

Hospital
February 19th 2013


2058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i mean, im just saying he rated this 2.5 and then suggested handguns

Hospital
February 19th 2013


2058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

see, i've never even heard of house boat. must rule, mentioned in same sentence as banner pilot



i do see your point, though

Killerhit
February 19th 2013


5250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Now now ya'll this al-bum, t'ain't bad!

nononsense
February 19th 2013


3394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm just not a fan of pop-punk bands that use synth and cheesy breakdowns. Without that and the overproduction I would have rated this a little higher.

Killerhit
February 19th 2013


5250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well it does fail to click on all the creative levels, but it's still at least a brightly-paced, enjoyable little album.



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