Metal-core/pop-punk band, A Day to Remember (ADTR) has been around the block before. They’ve written teenage pop-punk anthems like, “Have Faith in Me,” metal-core ragers like, “Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail,” and of course emo ballads like “If I Leave.” They were on many Vans Warped Tours and helped put metal-core into the mainstream with records like Homesick and the almighty Common Courtesy. Unfortunately, ADTR flopped hard with 2016’s Bad Vibrations, full of filler and basic metal-core songs. However, throughout their career, the band established a sound and used it as much as possible. But You’re Welcome is a true anomaly. The record is an attempt to bring ADTR back into the mainstream. Every song feels like the band is trying to do an impression of popular, radio-friendly, rock bands. The songs feel too produced, repetitive, bland, and forgettable. But the biggest headache of You’re Welcome is that it has no idea what it is.
ADTR has always held a recognizable sound and mainstream qualities. Homesick saw the band hone in on what makes ADTR great: the catchy hooks, hard-hitting riffs, brilliant pop-punk screams, and vocals from Jeremy McKinnon. What Separates Me From You pushed their boundaries further, bringing the band deeper into the mainstream and on the radio as well as Common Courtesy. But on You’re Welcome, they keep trying to sound like other popular mainstream rock bands, when they already are one. “Bloodsucker” takes a page from Imagine Dragons’ book with a big “Woahs” and “Ohs” chorus and heavy percussion. “Last Chance to Dance (Bad Friend)” starts quite promising with a heavy, Code Orange-esque riff. But then, out of nowhere, McKinnon does his best Ivan Moody, of Five Finger Death Punch, impression with the lyrics,
“Twist the blade/Leavin' a wound that never heals inside me/Twist the blade, let it die/Vengeance is hereby mine.”
“Resentment” is what probably happened when ADTR listened to Bring Me the Horizon’s newest record, POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR, and “High Diving” has Twenty One Pilots written all over it. The problem here isn’t that ADTR has modern influences, but they get so washed up in them that they barely try and stay original with their sound.
ADTR has never shied away from their clichés. Their sound contains many metal-core and pop-punk clichés. But in their earlier records like Homesick, What Separates Me From You, and even Common Courtesy, they would balance that with excellent hooks and creative breakdowns. They would have plenty of generic, relatable qualities, but the way they crafted a song around it was interesting and unique. You’re Welcome is the complete generic package: with no unique qualities, filler tracks, repetitive structures, and an overproduced mix. The first offender is “Only Money,” which begins the song with the tried and true, “My momma called me…” The song is basically every radio ballad you hear on the radio. The lyrics are bland and repetitive, the definition of filler. “F.Y.M.” is equally as generic and bland, not even sounding like the same band. The third offender, “Mindreader,” is the band on autopilot, with the same structure that every song on the record contains. Among the fillers in the record are: “Resentment,” “Degenerates,” “Permanent,” and “Re-Entry.”
But the biggest misstep on the record goes to the closer, “Everything We Need.” Not only is the instrumental a bland, overproduced mess, but the lyrics are painfully dull and clichéd. It sounds like the first chorus they came up with for the song and never wanted to make it any better.
“Cuz I know I got you/And you know you got me/We got everything we need/We got everything we need/I know I got you (I know I got you)/And you know you got me/We got everything we need/We got everything we need.”
To give credit where it’s due, “Last Chance to Dance (Bad Friend),” and “Resentment,” have some explosive, heavy moments that blend well with the new songwriting style. It should also be acknowledged that they are taking a big risk, changing their sound from something pop-punk/metal-core to radio-friendly hits.
This record suffers the most from having no identity or vision with its bland lyrics and instrumentals, each track sounds completely different from the next, and not in a way that still connects it all as a whole. The result is that the record suffers an identity crisis. It’s constantly changing moods and styles, but still managing to contain the bland and annoying mainstream clichés. It jumps from the seemingly Imagine Dragons inspired, “Bloodsucker,” to “Last Chance to Dance (Bad Friend),” to “F.Y.M.,” in a row! Then the filler tracks arrive and throw off the pacing of the record near the end. Fortunately, “Last Chance to Dance (Bad Friend)” has a brutally heavy riff.
“Looks Like Hell”
Recommended if you like:
Pierce the Veil
Bring Me the Horizon
We Came As Romans
Featured Image: Genius
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