I’m so glad the world didn’t end on December 21, because I was fortunate enough to hear the new A Day To Remember song, “Violence (Enough Is Enough).” The band doesn’t progress far from their hardcore roots and energetic guitar firestorms, but unlike the mostly punk-oriented What Separates Me From You, they take a turn down metal alley with this song; and it’s sure to divide people. In fact, there’s not really a middle ground – you either love this song, or you don’t.
I love this song. In fact, I think it’s one of the best songs the band has done in years, surpassing much of the material off their last album. They sticks to their heavy side and their formula works. “Violence” is lyrically potent, and brimming with catchy riffs and verses. But it doesn’t trade aggression for memorability; the song is a face-melting anthem, composed around an arsenal of guitars that are paralleled by the hostility of Jeremy McKinnon’s screams. Comparable to the vocals off the newest The Devil Wears Prada album, McKinnon goes for a more emotional, angst-filled approach, which often makes him sound like he’s in a constant struggle to retain his voice. But it’s a formula that works – and it’s quite effective, too.
The song’s production value is fantastic, and may be its most redeeming quality. It’s more reminiscent of Homesick than any A Day To Remember album, which I feel is the band’s tightest, most listenable album. The instrumentation is thick and fine-tuned, and though the clean vocals nearly take a backseat to the guitars in the chorus, McKinnon’s excellent singing voice is electrifying. The chorus is short and to the point, but the strongest section of the song follows the chorus, where McKinnon spits out the words “Violence, give me violence, ‘cause they say we’re the worthless ones / substance, give me substance, heavy lies the crown as I cut you down.” Just like most A Day To Remember songs, the lyrical content is ruthless but also very honest. However, this song feels much more accomplished lyrically. It seems like the band had a goal in mind when they wrote this album, and just from hearing this song, I have a feeling they hit their strides.
While the breakdown near the end of the track has been done a thousand times before, it really intrigues me. Because the band articulates so much with emotion and aggression in this song, the breakdown comes across as a necessary tool in this situation. A Day To Remember does a fantastic job of composing this song around its meaning, a skill that they tampered with on What Separates Me From You that is finally perfected in this single. During the verses, the track sounds as violent and callous as the deep, intricate guitars, and the focus is more on the screamed lyrics than the clean ones – emphasizing the song’s cruel, relentless nature. Throughout the song, the instrumentals are the band’s weapon of choice, siding with the context of being in a fight against the world. It’s a constant theme for the band, and they execute it richly here.
“Violence (Enough Is Enough)” is a great slice of what’s hopefully to come. Lyrically, instrumentally and vocally, this is an incredible song. “Violence” undeniably ends 2012 on a strong note, and since the world didn’t end, we have another great year of music to look forward to.
You can check out the song for yourself over at the band’s official website.