I was always a fan of pop-punk and eventually hardcore, but combining the two? Sacrilege! Unless you’re A Day To Remember who made this new genre of ‘easycore’ a thing. A great thing and Bad Vibrations is the latest in a long line of quality albums from the boys from Florida
The album is certainly got that A Day To Remember feel to it, with breakdowns being incorporated into chanting choruses. However it is distinctly heavier than their last efforts. Opening title track Bad Vibrations kicks the album off with a feedback led breakdown. This gets the album started with a picture of what is to come with songs like Paranoia having this hardcore pulse that drives the songs in an aggressive manner. Guitarist Kevin Skaff and Neil Westfall bring the chunky riffs with Exposed using a groovy intro to meld into sporadic verse. Oh and a fucking beast of a breakdown on to the listeners heads. Its bloody banging. This is not one of A Day To Remembers bouncy breakdowns but an arm flailing eruption.
Vocalist Jeremy McKinnon is on point as always. Light cleans that compliment the sing-along choruses and his signature screeching metalcore like screams. Lyrically there seems to be a shift into the darker side of life. Less ‘I hate this town’ and more anti-political and socially aware lyrics. Reassemble shows a lack of angst but a boost in anger for a more mature sound. Literally all of the choruses are chantable with songs like Turn Off The Radio lingering in the listeners mind long after the album has finished.
However later songs on the album do mellow out with a lighter few songs towards the end. Same About You and Forgive and Forget do drag the album down a little for me, as the hard hitting nature of the first half and its impact is hard to shake off. But then again it wouldn’t be A Day To Remember without some fist pumping soft songs and the nostalgic memories these bring warrant Bad Vibrations multiple playthroughs.
All in all, Bad Vibrations is a steady album that does not falter much. It is a heavier offering but still has that pop-punk punch that keeps A Day To Remember going. A solid 7/10 for a great album with several outstanding and catchy songs but a slightly weaker end to the album.