A Day To Remember: Common Courtesy (ADTR Records)
Fifth studio album from genre mash-up merchants A Day To Remember eventually gets a physical release.
In an age in which music seems more likely to show up online than on a solid circular object, it’s weird that when A Day To Remember’s most recent album appeared in digital-only format in October it all but disappeared unnoticed. Common Courtesy now gets a physical release with three additional tracks, following the fizzling out of a lawsuit against Victory Records in which no clear winner emerged. It deserves to be noticed, and no mistake.
It’s immediately clear that A Day To Remember are in a better mood than they were for 2010’s What Separates Me From You. That album’s anger contained more metalcore than pop punk – the Florida-based band consistently blur the lines between the two genres but on this most recent effort percentages swing back in favour of more light-hearted fare.
Naturally, a sentence like that will have metal fans screaming in despair. There is metal here, no doubt – Violence (Enough Is Enough) and Life Lessons Learned The Hard Way take no prisoners – but many more tracks take the melodic route, with front man Jeremy McKinnon backing up his claim that he aims for more than just a catchy chorus around a load of filler.
It’s an approach that brings a likeable, crowd-pleasing aspect to A Day To Remember’s music but which never its loses its edge, best summed up by the beast of a track that is Sometimes You’re The Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail.
Right from the opening ‘Fuck yeah!’ of City Of Ocala you’re on board with this album – proper upbeat pop punk forms its backbone but the slower numbers have enough invention about them to prevent attention wandering. Only the inevitable acoustic centrepiece I’m Already Gone feels like it doesn’t much belong, as the band’s pop-punk side fulfils that frustrating moral obligation of the genre.
The three bonus tracks don’t add a massive amount to the collection – the original album’s euphoric closer I Remember was and still would be the best way to end Common Courtesy. All the same this is very likely the most complete of the band’s five studio albums and a huge relief for fans who may have worried whether that pesky lawsuit might have put an end to A Day To Remember.