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Review: Bad Vibrations

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Review: Bad Vibrations

Braxton Coats

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From heavy riffs on “For Those Who Have Heart” to the soft, melodic, pop punk sound on “Common Courtesy,” A Day To Remember released their sixth album titled “Bad Vibrations,” and you might want to fasten your seatbelts for this one. A Day To Remember is back and the weight of their new album could crush a small child.

The band prepared for their newest album by renting a cabin in the Colorado mountains and secluding themselves from their surroundings to focus on their writing.

In a recent review with Kerrang.com, vocalist Jeremy McKinnon said the band wanted to get into a room together to feel attached to the music and the band again.

Fans could instantly tell that ADTR was coming back after the group dropped their first single, “Paranoia,” on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show hosted on Apple music. A heavy riff coupled with intense breakdowns, “Paranoia” was a success right out of the gate. But it wasn’t until the album reveal on June 2 when the hype train pulled out of the station. The reveal came with the title track.

Showing a stance on mental health and self-worth, the lead track, “Bad Vibrations,” brings back the band’s heavy style while conveying a feeling of emotion and self worth that few other ADTR songs have done before. Opening the album with a heavy hitter like “Bad Vibrations” shows the new direction that the band is moving in, giving a nice standard to base the rest of the album on.

The band released their third track on July 25, titled “Bullfight.” While being less aggressive than “Bad Vibrations,” the punk sound and heavy riffs give “Bullfight” a unique sound when compared to the other tracks.

On Aug. 19, Annie Mac at BBC Radio 1 revealed another new track titled “Naivety,” a far cry from the other tracks that had been revealed. A crushing pop-punk sound to accompany self-critical lyrics, “Naivety” is the first track on “Bad Vibrations” to show how dynamic the band can be.

With just two days before the album release on Sept. 2, ADTR released one more track titled “We Got This.” Another pop-punk track that really pulls at the heart strings, “We Got This” is a prime example of what ADTR is best at and why they have accumulated such a loyal fan base.

As anticipated, “Bad Vibrations” was released to the public on midnight, Sept. 2 and nobody could have anticipated the guitar thrashing that would be taking place.

“Bad Vibrations” opens with three singles that were previously released, “Bad Vibrations,” “Paranoia” and “Naivety,” then pulls out the big guns with “Exposed.” Coming out of the gate with a heavy guitar riff and a distinct snare drum sound, “Exposed” is not for the faint of heart. After a soul-destroying verse the song slows to a halt and makes you believe the track is over, but you’d be mistaken. “Like a shark that’s come to the surface, we’ve got a taste for blood” emerges from quiet guitar in the background and quickly slaps you with the heaviest breakdown ADTR has ever recorded.

“Bad Vibrations” is exactly what hardcore ADTR fans have been waiting for. With a clear emphasis on the heavier tracks that hit home like the title track, “Exposed,” “Justified,” “Paranoia” and “Reassemble,” this is ADTR’s heaviest album since “For Those Who Have Heart.” With the past two albums being more focused on a rock sound while still having some heavier tracks sprinkled throughout, having an album that gets down and dirty with real, personal issues and that uses heavy riffs to bang your head along to is a welcome homecoming for longtime fans.

But there’s no disappointment for those who prefer the band for their take on pop punk. Tracks such as “Naivety,” “We Got This,” “Bullfight,” “Same About You” and “Forgive and Forget” showcase ADTR’s ability to write a catchy punk pop song as well as a heavy song that will make you crave a moshpit.

A major problem with “Bad Vibrations” is the way it ends. The last two tracks on the deluxe edition are without a doubt the weakest on the album, finishing such a strong record with two comparatively “boring” songs that don’t leave a lasting impression that the other tracks on the record do. This is a major misstep for the album and is disappointing that they are the last two tracks of the album and only on the deluxe edition.

ADTR’s “Bad Vibrations” is a testament to their commitment to their style and a dedication to their fans. While I wouldn’t call this album “fan service,” I would call it “fan pleasing.” If you like A Day To Remember or if you like heavy pop punk, you should give “Bad Vibrations” a listen.

Story by: Braxton Coats, Web Manager

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Review: Bad Vibrations