Written by Guest Writer Erik van Rheenen
To build up hype for the upcoming album, What Separates Me From You, hardcore pop-punkers A Day to Remember released a single to forget.
That’s not to say that “All I Want” isn’t catchy in its own right. The production is sleek with New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert at the helm. Jeremy McKinnon’s vocals are emotionally rough around the edges with lyrics on par for the genre, and Kevin Skaff loses some of the non-stop chugging on guitar in favor of a more melodic sound. So what’s wrong?
The problem is that the sound ADTR crafted on Homesick is kind of like that old-school rocket-ship ride outside of the grocery store when you were young. The first time you put in a quarter, it’s the thrill of a lifetime. “The Downfall of Us All” was that kind of lead-off single on Homesick, with its sing-along worthy chorus and guitar lines that made you want to drop whatever you were doing and throw an impromptu mosh party. It was a breath of fresh air from the metalcore feel of For Those Who Have Heart.
The next couple of times you insert quarters into the rocket ship’s money slot, granted, the ride is still fun, but it starts to lose its novelty with each waving motion. “NJ Legion Iced Tea.” “My Life For Hire.” “Another Song for the Weekend.” Granted, each of these tracks still bring the trademarked “bro” pop-punk fun that A Day to Remember is becoming synonymous with, but the chugging riffs sound like the same formula plugged into the same equation over and over again. Even the breakdowns seemed a little forced.
Eventually, you start to feel a little nauseous and dizzy from the constant up-and-down motion of the ride, and, not having much fun anymore, you’re compelled to get off. “All I Want,” the first single meant to generate buzz for the new album, just manages to sound like more of the same. Despite some nifty hooks, the track is ultimately formulaicly hackneyed and predictable.
“All I Want” changes pace drastically in the last ten seconds of the track. It’s almost as though the band felt that they backed away from their hardcore roots and felt morally obligated to pack as much vocal brutality as possible to close out the song. It feels overdone and almost forced.
Even ADTR’s most adamant fans can’t deny that every single the band has released since Homesick sounds like the same old song with different lyrics. Although the band tells listeners to “keep your hopes up high and your head down low,” it might make more sense to keep your hopes realistic for more of the same sound when the album drops in November.