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Album Review: A Day To Remember ‘Bad Vibrations’


Most heavy bands who are only a few albums into their career struggle to create music that’s artistically distinctive, and pleases both new and old fans. Three years on from the anthemic ‘Common Courtesy’, A Day To Remember have released their sixth studio album ‘Bad Vibrations’, and it’s clear they’re a band to be remembered too. Collectively writing and recording the album for the first time since ‘For Those Who Have Heart’ back in 2007, the lads have come together to deliver some of their most diverse and entertaining music to date.

Opener and title-track Bad Vibrations revs things up, immediately introducing us to the screams of Jeremy McKinnon before hitting hard with heavy, chugging guitars. Guttural screams command the verses whilst the guitars lay a solid, distorted melody. The chorus hits epic level thanks to the dual vocals of McKinnon and guitarist Kevin Skaff, and will definitely stick in your head. Throughout the breakdown, the guitars team up to form a deadly hardcore duo, right up until the closing riff.

Paranoia shows no hesitation, bounding straight in with rapid guitars and in-your-face vocals. Piercing snares sharpen the verses before jumping into pop punk chorus that fans worldwide will immediately love. The creepy whispers “I’m still in your head” anticipate the breakdown, which will ignite any mosh thanks to McKinnon’s powerful vocals.

“The track is a perfect example of less is more done right, with the classic use of dual vocal harmonies creating a sense of nostalgia and further contributing to the optimism of the track.”

Naivety features commanding guitars in a track with definite punk foundations, and shows there’s clearly an influence from current touring partners blink-182. The chorus has more of a pop taste and honest lyrical content, which further adds to the authenticity of the song and the band. The drumming is crazy with Alex Shelnutt showing his skills by chucking in some frenetic fills throughout the turbulent track.

The catchy and positive vibes of Naivety are destroyed by the succeeding Exposed, a dark and brutal track that’s one of their heaviest to date. Verses are filled with faster-paced, heavy drums and guitar before opening up an epic rock-style chorus.

Exposed is crushing metalcore at its best, making you want to break any object within reach. The lyrics “Like a shark that’s come at the surface/We got a taste for blood/Don’t believe what the pacifist tells you/No peace” unlock the ferocious breakdown, followed by McKinnon dropping a deadly growl towards the song’s conclusion.

Despite the harmonising dual vocals adding some grace to the track, Bullfight sees McKinnon chuck in plenty of screams to add a plenty of intensity. The heavy post-chorus instrumentals offer even further intensity as the song switches to metalcore for a swifter breakdown, until the texture thins to McKinnon’s falsetto and builds to a final chorus.

Reassemble has an echoing intro with vocals that foretell a chorus and leads into a heavy, riff-focused verse. Shelnutt yet again delivers on this track, providing thundering double kicks throughout the wild track. Surprisingly, an acoustic guitar and piano appear to finish out the song, contrasting the viciousness along with soft vocals.

We Got This is a punk tune for the heart, as McKinnon reaches out to fans by addressing them directly in the lyrics. The music itself traces back to punk and 90s roots, from McKinnon’s tone to the drumming patterns and the guitarists playing style. The track is a perfect example of less is more done right, with the classic use of dual vocal harmonies creating a sense of nostalgia and further contributing to the optimism of the track.

It’s an empowering song that lifts the listener as they cruise into Same About You, which staggers in with an abnormal vocal style and more tender harmonies. The chorus hits hard and fiercely, as does the killer solo that surfaces in the bridge. McKinnon then leads the band into a heavy section before closing out the track.

“Their style and heavy proficiency is unmatched by most in the hardcore scene.”

Turn Off The Radio begins with a pumping start as McKinnon uses his higher range as ADTR once again blend catchy punk with the passionate hardcore. The bridge deviates from the band’s typical style mosh-focussed breakdown style, as a solo is laid under sensitive vocals, preaching “Someone out there, if you’re listening. We’re the victims of indifference”.

The album’s closer Forgive and Forget unexpectedly finishes the album with a beautiful ballad-type song, equivalent to ‘Homesick’s If It Means A lot To You. The piano, stringed instruments, and the intermittent drumming all come together in a perfect composition. McKinnon’s emotive vocals lead the band’s build to the final third of the song, as the dynamics and passion increase for a rising finish. Forgive and Forget represents ADTR’s diversity and their ability to throw calculated and expertly executed curveballs at new and old fans.

‘Bad Vibrations’ is a successful representation of A Day To Remember’s 13 years as a band, combining various aspects of their previous albums to create a booming and diverse album. Their style and heavy proficiency is unmatched by most in the hardcore scene. Be prepared when they bring these tracks Down Under later this year, it’s gonna be a rowdy time!

Read our interview with Kevin Skaff HERE and check out their upcoming Aussie tour dates below!

Album Rating: 4.5

A Day To Remember ‘Bad Vibes’ Australian Tour
supported by Of Mice & Men and Tonight Alive

Red Hill Auditorium, Perth
AEC Theatre, Adelaide
WED 14 Dec
Festival Hall, Melbourne
Hordern Pavillion, Sydney
Riverstage, Brisbane

Get Tickets HERE

A Day To Remember 2016 Tour Poster