Band: A Day To Remember
Album: You’re Welcome
Label: Fueled By Ramen
Location: Ocala, Florida
FFO: The Devil Wears Prada, Underoath, Of Mice and Men
Let’s talk about legends A Day To Remember. Love them or hate them, anyone who has ventured into rock, metal, or subgenres within, have most likely at least heard of them at some point over the past 15+ years. Whether it be their early more metalcore based days, stand out hardcore pop-punk sound, or their newer pop-rock anthems, there’s most likely an era of this band everyone can enjoy across the now 9 album catalogue. If you’ve been a long time fan, you know to at least expect pretty solid production from these guys, and that certainly doesn’t stop here. ‘You’re Welcome’ is the band's cleanest production to date, no doubt due to striving for that “poppy” punch more now than ever. Speaking as a huge fan, buckle up, because this will be another long one.
First things first, I love ADTR. I enjoy everything they've done since "For Those Who Have Heart". And they were one of the first more "metalcore" style bands I got into all those years ago. Above all though they have cemented their foundation upon this super catchy yet aggressive pop-punk sound. That's where the core of their style lies throughout the bulk of their career. That’s what they are known for.
As the singles were released, I was indifferent, if anything, a little disappointed. However, I was indifferent about the last record too at first, but soon after loved it and I think it's a great record today. So I gave all these singles a fresh listen after some time and I actually ended up liking them all. Yes, I think they are good. Are they perfect? No. There's things I dislike such as the unnecessary, awkward breakdown in the otherwise very catchy "Resentment" or the over-glossed chorus to "Degenerates".
Before we get deeper, I feel it’s important to mention why I love ADTR. Why have I enjoyed everything up to this point? Well for one I'm very open to any sort of changes in sound/direction in an artist, but specifically with these guys, it's their catchiness. They know how to make really good verses that lead up to fantastic choruses. My point being, I don't listen to these guys to get some sort of super heavy or groovy metalcore experience. I listen for those sing-a-longs and anthems. Of course I love a good breakdown; but it's the melodies that capture me. So on this record, they just seem to play more into that while leaving behind some of the heaviness. But did off-putting the balance they used to have benefit them in the end? Well let’s get into that.
To get straight into the rest of the album, the most noticeable thing from song to song is the different sounds we hear compared to ever before out of ADTR. Synths that follow the guitars (a popular sound nowadays, such as on the new Architects record), 808s and other “beat pad” type of sounds. There’s also newer ideas in here as well. Guitar licks and rhythms that are very tasteful and cool. They definitely aren’t going down any completely typical route when it comes to the poppier sound. These songs are relatively fresh with a lot of layers. Songs such as ‘Bloodsucker’ or ‘Looks Like Hell’ have regular structures but bring in those elements I just described to peak my interest. That doesn’t mean they completely left out any heavy tracks though. ‘Last Chance To Dance’ brings the very heavy riffs and angry screams from Jeremy that everyone loves. Easily the best breakdown on the record as well. Unfortunately though that really is the only “traditional” song on here. Most of everything else is singing and those interesting components I mentioned earlier. Again, not complaining though. I love Jeremy’s singing voice and the new sounds being thrown in.
I honestly do get a good amount of enjoyment from most of these songs. There’s only a few I’m a bit indifferent to at the moment. Mainly the ones that go a little too far in one direction. Those tracks being ‘High Diving’, ‘Only Money’ (an acoustic track that unfortunately didn’t hit nearly as hard as something like ‘End of Me’), or ‘Viva La Mexico’ that came across as too much of a weird arena song. The only song I can’t say I liked at all is ‘F.Y.M.’ It came across a little tacky and repetitive. The album could’ve easily gone without it. My favorites of course include the more balanced sound with their pop-punk style such as ‘Permanent’, ‘Re-Entry’, or even the intro track ‘Brick Wall’.
One last thing I want to give credit on is the very real versatile dynamics between each song. Every song is pretty different, but still works together. I think it’s going to be very easy for someone to pick a few songs they like, and differ with other people on their favorites.
It’s poppy, it’s heavy, it’s groovy. You can sing-along, dance, mosh, and jive to it. This album isn’t only an evolution for the band, but realistically it’s also a combination of a lot of what they’ve done over the years in various songs. I don’t love everything but I do like the overall tone and sound to it. Just a few iffy directions on some songs.
This is the current direction for ADTR, and I’m just fine with it. There’s more that I like than dislike, and plenty of room to grow on me. The band is clearly just doing what they want, and they have full right to, especially after so many years of consistently proving themselves. ‘You’re Welcome’ is a welcomed addition into their catalogue.
Strongest Song: Last Chance To Dance, Permanent
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/a-day-to-remember/59925710