|A Day to Remember – For Those Who Have Heart
Release Date: January 23, 2007
Record Label: Victory Records
A Day to Remember released their debut full length, “And Their Name Was Treason,” in 2005 via Indianola Records. After establishing a growing fan base, the band would go on to sign to Victory Records last year and are now releasing their second full length, “For Those Who Have Heart.” Over the last two years the bands hasn’t made any departures from their original sound, but has rather redefined their sound and have shown improvement in the song writing department. While the labeling of ‘pop-mosh’ may confuse some people, in A Day to Remember’s case, the label fits perfectly.
In a mere ninety-two seconds, album opening “Fast Forward to 2012″ perfectly demonstrates what the rest of the album sounds like. The song begins with Jeremy McKinnon’s upbeat and energetic singing over some poppy guitars leading the listener into believing there about to listen to the next pop-punk album that’ll be labeled as a guilty pleasure. However, around twenty-five seconds into the song there are gang vocals that lead into some deep throated shouting, with an unsurprising breakdown closing out the song. After the first song it becomes extremely apparent that the ‘pop-mosh’ tag is spot on for the album, as the album goes back in forth with catchy pop elements before branching off into the hardcore territory that used to be the norm for Victory Records. Luckily for A Day to Remember, vocalist Jeremy McKinnon can deliver a commendable clean voice and still have an energetic shout, making the transition between the two vocal styles seamless. Guitarists Neil Westfall and Tom Denney also are adapt musicians; constantly interchanging catchy pop punk riffs with crunchy, metallic riffing that has became the hardcore standard.
While A Day to Remember venture into both the pop punk and hardcore scene, its Jeremy McKinnon’s uncanny ability to sound exactly like Patrick Stump that will either make or break the album for the listener. While his singing voice is sure to attract the pop punk fans looking for a new band with a little more edge, the cleaner aspects may easily turn them off to the hardcore kids who won’t admit to liking something similar to Fall Out Boy at times. “Colder Than My Heart If You Can Imagine” is the perfect example of the Patrick Stump comparison, as McKinnon’s vocals are so similar around the chorus, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been a cameo by Stump. Incongruously, halfway through the song it cuts out for a few seconds before coming back with a breakdown and growled vocals, followed by two of the heavier songs on the album. While the band’s integration of the two genres may sound like an identity crisis to some, A Day to Remember manage to pull it off efficiently and turn the two stale genres into a fresh, enjoyable listen.
“For Those Who Have Heart” is not for everyone, as a number of hardcore kids will hate the pop punk portions and some of the pop punk kids won’t be able to handle the breakdowns or screaming, but for fans of both scenes, A Day to Remember manage to efficiently combine both genres and make a rewarding album out of it. It’s not pushing the envelope and it won’t be an album that’s remembered down the road, but “For Those Who Have Heart” is still worth checking out.