Since their 2007 release of “Rise or Die Trying,” the happycore rockers comprising Four Year Strong have kept busy touring nonstop and putting out a collection of 90s cover songs.
Finally, on March 9 their most recent endeavor, “Enemy of the World,” will hit shelves as their first major label release.
The first song, “It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now,” is a great indicator of the rest of the album. It maintains FYS’s signature sound, made up of Alan Day and Dan O’Conner’s dual vocals and shredding guitar riffs as well as Jake Massucco’s double-bass laden drums, Josh Lyford’s wacky synth melodies, Joe Weiss’ backbone bass-lines and gang vocals by the entire band.
“Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)” is easily one of the highlights of the disc; it rocks like New Found Glory’s “Understatement” on speed. Synth-man Lyford makes his keys heard briefly, but it is definitely something that could have been used more throughout the album. Possibly the entire town of Worcester joins FYS to yell the last chorus of “Wasting Time” and then sticks around to shout through “Nineteen With Neck Tatz.”
“Enemy” is not without the catchy chorus expected from FYS, and each song seems to stick in your head the way the gooey candy your mom regularly denied you as a child would stick to your hands. FYS shows their momentary soft side on the bridge of “Find My Way Back,” making great use of dynamics before “What The Hell Is A Jiggawatt?” hits, which is sure to leave the DeLorean emblem imprinted on your forehead.
“One Step At A Time” gallops in with a more serious lyrical tone, as Day and O’Connor sing optimistically about coping with the loss of a loved one. “One Step” and the following track “This Body Pays The Bills,” stand out as the all around most solid songs on the album. Both songs rock hard and feature significant contributions from every member of the band.
“Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride” and “Flannel Is The Color Of My Energy” each take a few listens to stick, and slow the overall flow of the album.
And while the title track “Enemy of the World” is a good ending note, it doesn’t compare in the least to the epic concluding track on “Rise or Die Trying.”
Overall “Enemy of the World” is an impressive step forward for FYS and is their best album to date. The production quality is amazing, the vocals are much more aggressive, and just as they promise, “if you bring the heart then [they’ll] bring the beat!”
You will like this album if you liked:
Hit The Lights — Skip School, Start Fights
Set Your Goals — This Will Be The Death of Us
A Day To Remember — Homesick