For Fans Of
I’ve likened every A Day to Remember record to someone’s grocery shopping list, and the Ocala quintet’s sixth offering is no different. ‘Bad Vibrations‘ primarily has the typical, consistent items with a couple surprise purchases within. Basically, there’s the expected, the familiar and the unexpected. Also, bear in mind that due to the sheer heaviness of the 13 track record, your trolley may be a little tough to push, just as one filled with ‘For Those Who Have Heart‘ would. Anyway, let’s do some grocery shopping!
Let’s begin with the expected.
What’s ADTR’s equivalent of milk and bread? Well to any listener, I think the answer is quite obvious. Present in this record are the catchy, pop-punk styled choruses (see the slight cringe-inducing track ‘Naivety‘), chug-heavy metalcore verses (see the title track) and drawn out breakdowns (see Bullfight, the most stereotypical ADTR track of the lot). This style is the band’s ever successful formula, and it hasn’t yet been retired. There’s a certain comfort in this familiarity, although with the production sounding more organic, it just didn’t feel quite the same as on previous efforts, like ‘Homesick‘ for instance. If you’re looking for a better representation of this style, maybe revisit songs like ‘Mr. Highway’s Thinking About the End‘, because unfortunately, the mix just isn’t as “full” and punchy as is needed for these tracks.
‘Forgive And Forget‘ fulfils our expectations of a ballad, and it definitely does its job. Vocalist Jeremy McKinnon really uses emotive tones in his voice, along with a violin in the background to really compliment the song. Of course, the song climaxes in epic fashion, with soaring guitar work and “woah’s” perfect for the stadium setting. Think of this track as an ‘End of Me’ Pt 2. Okay, one last expectation, and that’s an all out mosh fest. Enter ‘Exposed‘. This track is definitely one of the heaviest songs the band has recorded and is sure to be a live favourite. Think the classic ‘Heartless’, mixed in with something like ‘Wormholes‘ by Volumes. Yeah, that’s right, Volumes!
Next on the list are the occasional purchases. I’m thinking table salt, barbecue sauce, and baked beans. As for the record, there’s two B-side tracks ‘Negative Space‘ and ‘In Florida‘, both of which are very solid songs. ‘Common Courtesy‘ shared this similarity, with B-side tracks such as ‘Same Book but Never the Same Page‘. While on the topic of this song and the relation to ‘Bad Vibrations‘, guitarist Kevin Skaff lends his voice as a backup vocalist, and both times occur to great effect. It adds a nice touch, and the slight variation, no matter how small, is always welcome. One more occasional purchase is the songs with cringeworthy lyrics and therefore turn them into the weakest songs on the album. In this case, ‘We Got This‘ and ‘Naivety‘ take the cake and them some.
Okay, we’ve moved pretty far down the list now, all the way down to the surprises. ‘Paranoia‘, the lead single has a very strong punk vibe, and although this makes sense now considering the band’s collective taste, upon release this was completely unexpected. After ‘What Separates Me From You‘ and ‘Common Courtesy‘, I believe most listeners were expecting an even greater leaning toward the pop side of the band, but this was proven wrong. The release of second single, ‘Bad Vibrations‘, then put this assumption to rest completely. Another surprise is the pitch of McKinnon’s voice in ‘Turn off The Radio‘. It’s a higher register by his standards and although I’m not too sure how I feel about it yet, I applaud him for the attempt nonetheless. On the flip side, the singing present on ‘Reassemble‘ may just be some of McKinnon’s roughest yet, but it works to great effect for the song, creating such an anthemic feel. So basically, there are quite a few Aldi electronic products on this list.
So, I’ve just put the bags in my car, how do I feel about my recent purchases? Well, they’re all decent. I was already expecting to buy most of it, so I guess the experience wasn’t too exciting, although luckily I already enjoyed them. Some items I hadn’t purchased in quite a while, and I’m glad I was able to grab them now. While I was hoping for more surprises, there weren’t too many but thankfully, there was just enough to keep me entertained and satisfied.
1. Bad Vibrations
8. We Got This
9. Same About You
10. Turn Off The Radio
11. Forgive and Forget
12. Negative Space [bonus song]
13. In Florida [bonus song]
‘Bad Vibrations’ is out now via ADTR/Epitaph Records.