Review: Four Year Strong – Go Down in History EP

 

four-year-strong

Three years. It’s been three long years since Four Year Strong have released any type of new music. Three years since their incredibly disappointing In Some Way, Shape, or Form album. I honestly thought the band might be dead in the water, or at the very least, about to put out one last mediocre farewell album.

What I didn’t expect is a completely reenergized band playing at their full potential. Go Down in History is not only arguably the finest release by the band thus far in their career, but a reminder to never, ever, count a band down and out.

Go Down in History is a powerhouse from start to finish. It’s loud, aggressive and addictive. While the EP has a theme of loud poppy hardcore, each song is distinct and remarkably memorable. This is a band playing at the height of their ability; if your neck isn’t sore by the end of the EP, you weren’t listening right.

The way that the guitars play against each other is as impressive as the riffs and breakdowns strewn throughout each song. The production is spot on, allowing each instrument to sound raw and crisp without feeling overdone. The result is a sound that feels like a mix of the metalcore edge of Chiodos and the pop punk of New Found Glory (“What’s in the Box?”).

Each song is technical and intricately written to make sure that each second is a surprise for the listener. Guitarists Alan Day and Dan O’Connor’s guitars are nothing short of incredible. While they are the true stars of the EP, they manage to not over-shine the other instruments. Joe Weiss’s bass plays an impressive backing to the songs, managing to smash against the angst of the guitars. Jake Massucco’s drumming is absolutely superb; he not only keeps time to the incredibly quick guitars, but keeps a manic beat that is constantly able to distract you from the incredible guitar work (“Go Down in History”).

Lyrically, the album maintains the theme that this frantic type of music should: fight back against the world. Whether it’s intentional or not, the EP seems to scream out at anyone who thought the band had lost their edge. The opening lines of “What’s in the Box?” say all that needs to be said of the theme, “It’s time to set the record straight, That hopefully you don’t just fade out. Doing what you have to to survive, I’ve been waiting far too long to give up all hope that my heart is strong enough to stay alive”. Each song is a rallying cry to stand against adversity and fight back from the edge.

Against the thrashing power chords of “Living Proof Of a Stubborn Youth”, Day and O’Connor sing, “Hold on to the day, Before it gets too far away, I’m losing faith in all my past mistakes, We’re living proof of a stubborn youth, and I’m waiting for the resurrection.” I could basically write down any lyric from any song and you’d get the gist, but each song is uniquely catchy and intricate. The gang vocals of “Go Down in History” deserve to have a room of jumping kids shouting them from the pit.

My biggest complaint is that this is just an EP and not a full album; I’d kill for just a few more songs. There is literally no variety on the EP, each song is ready to knock you down, if not by the crashing guitars, then by the shouting vocals. If this is your bag, you’re in for a real treat. If you were hoping for a bit of variance among the songs, too damn bad.

Go Down in History is a comeback among comebacks. Four Year Strong have literally never sounded better amongst the best songs of their discography. After not really thinking about the band for almost three years, I am begging for more. While it isn’t a complete album, it’s one of the best EP’s released in recent memory. Three years is a long time to wait for anything new, but Go Down in History was worth every single second.

4.5/5

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and yells at the rain on occasion. He also wants to play you in FIFA.

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