[Review] A Day To Remember - 'What Separates Me From You'
"I paid the price so ill take whats mine" roars through the speakers as A Day To Remember's new album begins to play. Straight away you might be grinning at the sheer momentum they have launched into this new release. What Separates Me From You is the bands 4th full length studio album, and it's set for release next week on November 16th and is the follow up to 2009's pretty successful Homesick. Next on the opening track comes the harmonic sing along chorus which is shortly lived before a return to the machine gunning guitars and the boom of hard beating drums. "Where were you when my walls came falling down" seems like a fitting lyric at this time. It could match the feeling you may have at this point after thinking the days of big breakdowns and stomp alongs from these guys were long gone. Fear not though, as track one, "Sticks & Bricks" is repeat worthy straight off the bat.
Next up is the lead single, "All I Want" which we got a listen to last month when the track premiered on KROQ. It also caused a bit of a stir as it did seem like ADTR were going own the poppier route with the new tracks. Jeremy was quick to act in response though and reassured fans via a blog update on the official site to fans. "All I Want is a place to call my own" chants the chorus again sits well with the band and where they are right now 4 albums later. This effort from the word go appears to be the bands biggest push to date and they've tested the boundaries once again. They're managing to keep their small town roots and take their long term fans along with them. All whilst developing into a show selling monster that will, in turn, reap the rewards of new fans at home and across the waters.
Next track is "It's Complicated", another sharp sounding guitar tone, one that I can't remember hearing from the band for a while, discounting Homesick's "If This Means A Lot To You" which featured an acoustic! An angst filled track about now and then including breakdown and group sing along before the track is over. Then we're onto another feather filled track in the form of "This Is The House That Doubt Built". I say this because it starts soft, yet within the opening seconds it seems to be instantaneously building up and then DROP. Feedback….. overdrive and drums take over before another scream along chorus. So far the album seems to be a 50/50 mix of heavy verses and harmonieus sing along chorus'.
Speaking of memorable next up is "2nd sucks" which we got a preview of courtesy of Victory Records last month. It's ballsy and it's gritty and more in the realm of "old" ADTR who so far have been seem to be elsewhere on this album given a few minor exceptions. The track seems to be over as quick as it seems yet I want to hit repeat immediately and listen again. Gold star for effort on this one guys. Quickly get your breath back before the next track kicks in fully. It's a sing along one so keep your voice ready as it comes complete with a Paramore like "Woooah oahhhhhohhh" that will embed itself in your head and most likely upon the second play of the track have you joining in. "Better off this way" would do well as a single in my opinion but that doesn't make it my favourite track thus far on the album.
Palm muted soft guitars and only a singers voice to accompany always make me close my eyes in fear for a second. Not in a weird way, but just that I never know if tracks like this will (if at all) ever truly kick in and give us something that hasn't been done a hundred times before by bands in smaller towns than the one these guys originally come from. "I hate this town" is the first thing you hear when "All Signs Point To Lauderdale" slowly starts to play and they're also the last thing that echoes into the silence as the track draws to a close. I'm kind of sorry to say it doesn't seem to progress as far as it could go. It reminds me of New Found Glory and other similar Pop-punk bands. It's good, yet it's not ADTR as they've come to be known in the past 5 years. However, live I think the track could pick up momentum and be a crowd favourite 'cos most kids these days tend to say they hate the town they're in. They most likely don't but it won't stop them joining in when the band belt this one out live.
RAWRRRRR. You may have lost interest by now (with the review not the album) but the next track which is awesomely named "You be Tails, I'll Be Sonic" will slap you in the face and bring your consciousness back down to earth in a split second as Jeremy's voice cuts into either side of my head like a badly thrown football. "All the things you love, are all the things I hate, How did we get here in the first place" bellows from Jeremy's belly before another breakdown and another big stand out track on the album is nearly finished. 8/10ths through What Separates Me From You and I'm beginning to feel that A Day To Remember have found their stride, found their niche and they are parading it around like a trophy for us all to see.
As the next track started I paused it for a second as I thought my laptop was playing up because the song playing kinda sounded similar to "All signs point to lauderdale". Slow start with nothing but singer and palm mutes… even sounds to be in the same key…"Out Of Time" may actually be out of time as within seconds I'm worried it's too similar to a song 2 tracks previous. Let's hope this delivers a little more and a simple cross of my fingers seems to have worked. The track is a nice mix of fist pumping head banging drums that cut through the mix nicely thrown in with a lead guitar line that also finds it's way to the front of the track amongst the bass and rhythm guitars that chug away. "I thought this was what you wanted" rages from the stereo and they have nailed another track.
The last track on the album is titled "If I Leave" and seems like a nice end to an album that I have enjoyed from front to back. Bar the one moment of pause i gave to it to check if I had the same track on twice (I didn't. My bad). A pick slide and a good jump along fist pumping track later and that's it. A year and a half in the making, along with a tonne of live shows later and A Day To Remember have offered up their head to the chopping board with their 4th studio album and I think they're going to live to tell the tale.
It really is the bands attempt to land on the moon. To shoot for the stars and make the music that Homesick taught us that they were so good at. It's not For Those Who Have Heart but there's definitely elements of earlier days in there. It does have aspects of New Found Glory in there which some people may not like me saying but Chad Gilbert did produce the album. I'm not saying this is why the similarities are there but he may have had some influence on the band during his involvement with their last 2 albums. Don't fret though, listen to their debut And Their Name was treason and this isn't a million miles away from where they began in terms of style. In execution it's toned and put together well. It's another step in the direction the band have been heading in from day one. Once upon a time they were playing shows to nobody and now they are dominating festival lineups and clubs across the world. ADTR have delivered a nicely packaged tight, well produced studio gem and I challene the old fans to not join in and dance with the new kids to this one.
Download: "Sticks & Stones"and "You be Tails, I'll Be Sonic"