Review Summary: Words fail. Ratings fail.This piece of art is brought to you by ian b, dedex, tyman128 & JesperL
A Day To Remember have always been a pop band at heart. However, it hasn’t been until recently that they’ve fully shed their Floridian hardcore roots entirely and embraced the sugary textures and tendencies that appeared in slithers as early on as their first record. For better or for worse (spoiler alert: it’s the latter), the band seem to acknowledge this, yet in the same breath, shamelessly delve deeper and deeper into radio-friendly territory to the point where their already-refined sounds morph into a sleek, shapeless, overly polished mold of what ADTR have been trying to be for years, but without any of the grit or creativity that made them interesting to begin with. Oh, and Jeremy McKinnon still seems to think he’s fourteen years old.
But pop can be kinda cool, right? Some of the band’s most successful (and best) songs thrive off instantly memorable choruses, chuggy breakdowns and little else. ADTR going pop
might have actually worked: in theory, on paper, in our goddamn dreams, truly in any form that doesn’t have anything to do with sound. Combine this false hope with the fact that all 23 easycore (pop punk with sometimes screm maybe and many many breakdownz) fans have waited a whopping five years for You’re Welcome
, and you have one hell of a disappointment on your hands. Upon postponing the record’s initial 2019 release, the band revealed that this was due to the fact that neither the artwork nor the mixing process had been completed to satisfaction yet. Cool!
Fast forward two years, You’re Welcome
is finally here! And hey, guess what: the artwork is terrible and the mixing sucks, and somehow those two issues are among the least of the record’s worries. Let’s dive into the former first. The wonderful cover art depicts a dude standing in front of a shattered brick wall with a red carpet in front of him. The dude is wearing red too, which is cool because the carpet, as mentioned, is red as well. Simultaneously, it isn’t cool as the red dude cannot easily be distinguished from the red carpet and red wall. Either way, said dude has been present on every single piece of ADTR cover art, and never have we been graced with seeing his - maybe pretty, maybe not - face. Worse than that utter lack of respect, the Floridians seem to enjoy forcing him into dubious situations: he seemed paralysed in a purple labyrinth on Homesick
, and stuck in an hourglass while bystanders prefer to contribute to the inexorable march of progress rather than helping the poor lad on What Separates Me from You
. Fortunately, his adventures seem less dangerous now, but we, at Sputnikmusic dot com, are worried about the dude’s free will. Does he even want to be displayed on these covers? Is he stuck in an ADTR metaverse where all adolescents look like thirty-something bearded dudes and the only acceptable clothes are the famous flannel + band shirt duo?
Regardless of Cover Dude’s position in the world of tr00 EZcore (I actually heard a rumor that’s where ian b banished ian a to after a fight for supernatural powers, but don’t bring it up in the thread because they might eat you), the band seem to have a persistent issue with free will and focusing on what truly matters when it comes to producing a cohesive project. Continuing the trend of ignoring whatever the hell their bassist has been touching, his instrument is practically inaudible due to You’re Welcome
’s truly incredible mixing. Why address anything of importance when you can release an absolutely grating lead single that simply rips off Trophy Eyes’ latest abomination in the form of ‘Degenerates’? Why spend time on songwriting - remember, they had five whole years - when you can just proclaim that, uh, ”everyone’s a lot more complicated”
? Man, what a revelation. Come to think of it, the song might actually pose the answer as to why no one in the band seems to give enough of a *** about keeping their audience safe to release a simple “sexual assault is bad” statement in the form of its wonderful chorus: ”My friends are degenerates / But I’d never change them / Liars, cheats and hypocrites / Not the type for saving”
. Why fix what is broken amiriteeee.
Notwithstanding any conception of artwork, mixing, ethics, or even the fact that half of the album was available before the release date (thankfully there are a mere fourteen tracks on this thing), what remains is a poussive album that tries to increase the presence of the band’s always-evident pop sensibilities without much success. Past albums were already filled with poppy hooks, but these jammy parts were counterbalanced with much heavier passages, like on ‘Mr. Highway’s Thinking About the End’ where the band’s nastiest
breakdown provided a counterpoint to one of the band’s most recognisable choruses. On You’re Welcome
, the space left for heavy material has diminished so drastically it is reduced to its bare minimum as the majority of the songs tackle pop rock territories. Even when attempting to sound brootal, the band can’t seem to escape the sparkly “sound” of a grating poppier chorus that completely contradicts any moment of “heaviness” heard moments before (yes, we’re talking about you “Last Chance to Dance”). There is inherently no issue with reinventing one’s sound, but, erm, you gotta do it right. Unfortunately, ADTR did not do this (oopsie!), ‘Everything We Need’ is nothing but a shell of a reinterpretation of ‘If It Means a Lot to You’. Both songs are similar in the sense that they are sing-along™ closers that are sure to please a festival crowd of budweiser-ed up dads rather than a group of moshpit-ready sixteen year-olds. Still, while the latter track possessed a clear progression to it that ended in a rewarding climax, the 2021 ADTR closer only repeats the same chorus without adding energy in its last repetitions. Before fading out - a truly cool and original and also funky way to finish a song, and even more so an album -, the record ends its course with Ed Sheeran-esque claps (you know the ginger dude), Imagine Dragons-like bland drums (you know the car commercial band), and a Discourse (“you’re my bro and I’ll never let you down”) that was already cliché fifteen years ago. Back when Jeremy McKinnon wasn’t fourteen either.
‘Brick Wall’s pre-chorus rips Sum 41’s ‘Still Waiting’ melody, but that’s not the most impressive thing about the track: this truly epic section contains the lyrics ‘no luck lost on a loser’ pronounced like ‘la croissant, loser’, for some fucking reason. Good on them, you know, adding some comedic touches to You’re Welcome
. Other fun laughs can be found in ‘FYM’s lyrics: “Wait'll I get some fuck you money / Wait'll I get, wait'll I get /Get, get, get
”. Shockingly, ‘High Diving’ one ups these awful lyrics as a 35-year old Jeremy McKinnon exclaims that “It’s hard to practice what you preach / When life is a beach / I’m high diving
”. In case you didn’t get this particular joke, it’s funny because ‘beach’ kind of sounds like a swear word and has something to do with water and diving, as indicated in the song title. Similarly, ‘Viva La Mexico’.. no, you know what, fuck this. Nope. No no no.
Ugh. Admittedly, there’s one thing You’re Welcome
nails: the longstanding easycore tradition of ending with a breakdown. Except this time around, no guitars are going chuggy chuggy wee woo, as it’s the listeners who will be experiencing mental breakdowns due to the lack of adjectives that can accurately describe how truly awful, despicable, terribbdele, repslúsive, djicol thsjkicds recop’srd issjds.;oh shit, i think Jesper or dedex, or whoever else wrote that just had an aneurysm, but anyways, this is the sound of a band with a total lack of identity nor any care for having one. By the end of the record I can’t really feel much of anything. There’s more mentions of the word “octanecore” in my listening notes than actual songs on this album (that’s over 14, mind you) and I think ,my brsain is broken at tshi point but man. This is fvckinf bad dude, I’m listening to For Those That Want to Exist
again, and honeslty i might bump that up to a 4.5 from the 1.5 that i have it at. What album am I supposed to be talking about again>?
This special presentation has been brought to by the team of Sputnikmusic’s contributing writers’ last 20 collective brain cells they now have left. Thanks to ian b (who never did a thing to ian a by the way that was a total accident), dedex, tyman128 (who put about as much effort into this review as ADTR did with their lyrics), and JesperL, who has rumored to have been spotted streaking in Bangladesh after listening to the record to finalize his thoughts, and unfortunately having a severe mental break, along with 2 of the other 4 writers. Please help us, none of us asked for this.
Why A Day To Remember?