A Day To Remember – ‘You’re Welcome’
It’s been five long years since their last record, but now pop-punk metal crossover kings A Day To Remember are back with their brand new album ‘You’re Welcome’. A band that shot to prominence way back in 2007 with their pioneering genre hybrid, quickly becoming an alt-culture household name, they’ve always found a way to reinvent themselves whilst still staying true to their roots. This album is their seventh venture down that path and though they clearly still have plenty of tricks up their sleeves, they evidently aren’t always good ones.
Originally scheduled for release in 2019, ’You’re Welcome’ is their first release on Fueled By Ramen and the resulting sound — intentional or not — is reminiscent of some of the label’s roster and alumni. The pop element of their sound is definitely more in the foreground here which isn’t a bad thing by any means, but in some places it feels as though they’ve either tried too hard or not tried quite hard enough. The end result is an album that’s a little all over the place with some standout tracks sat alongside some really big flops.
The good moments of the record shine brightly and they’ll have fans globally hammering the repeat button over and over. ‘Last Chance To Dance (Bad Friend)’ is one of their more traditionally styled tracks and it doesn’t disappoint. Heavy hardcore riffs evil enough to summon the devil and growls so rabid they’d scare him off, it’s sure to be both a crowd and a pit pleaser. ‘Permanent’ is another belter, boasting an instantly addictive chorus and a masterful grasp on rise and fall dynamics that make it feel like a real rollercoaster ride. The riotous and pessimistic ‘Brick Wall’, the undeniable anthem ‘Degenerates’, the bittersweet ballad ‘Only Money’… There are loads of satisfying moments here, but there are also a lot of bad ones.
There are some really uncomfortable, almost awkward sections of this record, often coming across as either uninspired or rushed. ‘F.Y.M’, for example, is musically a modern-day dream-pop re-work of their ‘Over My Head (Cable Car)’ cover, with Jeremy McKinnon’s leading chorus line of “wait ’til I get some fuck you money” really lowering the tone to an immature, almost lazy teenage level. A similar thing happens in ‘High Diving’, a pleasant pop-rocker with a groan-worthy chorus “it’s hard to practice what you preach when life is a beach”. A pun that will tickle dads and disappoint kids everywhere.
Then there’s the song about being drunk in Mexico aptly titled ‘Viva La Mexico’, a straight-up carbon copy of the Fall Out Boy formula on ‘Bloodsucker’, the Avril Lavigne-esque closer ‘Everything We Need’ – it’s all a little scattered. Songs about online criticism, money, getting wasted, more money, regrets, nostalgia, memories, something about money — it’s a lot harder to connect with this record than it has been with a lot of their back catalogue because it’s trying to be too many things. Without a doubt, the music is great and adventurous throughout, but the lyrics often feel a little tone-deaf.
There’s enough good stuff on this album to make it worthy of a spin or two, and newer fans of the band will get a kick from the infectious melodies and good vibes that they’ve gotten oh-so-good at radiating over the years. Long-time fans of the band, however, might have a harder time falling in love with it. It’s odd that seven records into their career there are moments where they’ve never sounded so immature or petty, and it turns what could’ve been a nice and smooth crossover into new territory into a collection of hits and misses. Not a complete disaster, but a very long way from being their biggest triumph.