A Day to Remember: Bad Vibrations

21 Sep

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Opening with the punishing assault of the title track, A Day To Remember come storming back with their new album Bad Vibrations.

Comprising 11 tracks, this a quick, heavy hit. No bloat, no mucking around. These guys are here to turn that space between your ears into a mosh pit.

Not that the assault is completely unrelenting — ‘Paranoia’ flirts with a hummable melody while pulverising your eardrums with heavy riffs and drum fills. It’s all very unpretentious and to the point. ‘Naivety’ is surprisingly melancholy for a song filled with chugging guitars and drum beats, with singer Jeremy McKinnon looking back on how much he has changed since his youth (considering he is 30, it can’t be that much).

Other songs like ‘Exposed’ are more straight-ahead death metal barnstormers, with Cookie Monster vocals and every aural touchstone of that genre you can think of.

The album juggles between these two tones on an almost song-to-song basis, which means the overall pace never flags. One minute you are listening to the anthem ‘Bullfight’, and then onto the barrage of ‘Reassemble’. It’s a rollercoaster of an album, and far more enjoyable than the title would suggest.

The content belies the collective age of the band — the lyrics deal with age, and regret, and nostalgia. It’s this lyrical maturity which adds a real dimension to the crunch of the music. It feels more real and relatable than the empty navel gazing of so many post-punk bands.

Overall, Bad Vibrations is a strong album from the veteran band. Sonically, it doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but that does not detract from the strength of the material they have developed here. New listeners will find a lot to enjoy here.

 

By Tim George

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