Written by Guest Writer Erik van Rheenen
Though it may not be enough to warrant a lyric in Alanis Morissette’s nineties anthem, there is some irony in the fact that A Day To Remember’s first single off What Separates Me From You, “All I Want,” was anything but, yet their second single, “2nd Sucks,” isn’t even close to what its namesake suggests.
On “2nd Sucks,” the band finally steps off the fence that balances their bubblegum pop-punk side with their hardcore leanings and writes a track that wouldn’t be out of place on For Those Who Have Heart, save for lead singer Jeremy McKinnon’s new and improved screaming technique, which sounds much fuller than his work on Homesick.
The opening lines hit your eardrums like the first clap of thunder of an audio storm, the kind that sends your dog running behind the couch and kids crying in their parents’ bedrooms. The breakneck pace gets set early and is held up by some heavy-hitting instrumentation, a metalcore tour-de-force for the pop-punk crowd.
Listeners who wondered where the energy went on “All I Want” won’t have to look further to the adrenaline-injected “2nd Sucks.” The track clocks in at just under two and a half minutes, but it’s two and a half minutes of fury. With lyrics meant to silence doubters, raucous gang shouts, and blistering guitar riffs, it’s the kind of song that will make anyone drop what they’re doing, don some neon, and kick-start an impromptu mosh pit.
That’s not to say the song isn’t without its pitfalls though. The single still suffers from acute chugging guitar syndrome (unfortunately for A Day to Remember, it seems like a chronic condition), and the band can’t kick the habit of dropping cheesy lines before breakdowns. When the announcement “Fight!” precedes the song, it seems a little over-the-top: it’s not like mosh-pit veterans need instructions on how to handle the epinephrine-laced guitar riffs and pulsing drums laid down by the band. What was the band expecting? Fans to stand around and chat amongst themselves casually before hearing the codeword?
A Day to Remember returns to their metalcore-influenced roots on “2nd Sucks,” which could alienate fans who became enamored with the band’s pop-heavy side. However, when it comes down to the band’s mosh-’til-you-drop ethos, their newest song will leave fans practicing their hardcore moves until November 16th.