Thursday, 18 March 2010

Four Year Strong - Enemy Of The World

Four Year Strong
Enemy Of The World
Label: Decaydance/Universal Motown
Release Date: March 9th 2010

Following the success of 2007's colossal Rise Or Die Trying, Massachusetts' Four Year Strong showed their hand with regards to new tracks with It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now in late '09, and Wasting Time (Eternal Summer) a little earlier this year. And what a hand it was. It Must Really Suck... is as good a Pop Punk song as you'll hear all year, and ties together every aspect of what makes the band so awesome - a massive Pop Punk/Hardcore love-child intro riff, intricate beat variations and half-time galore, perfectly worked dual and gang vocals, and overall superb musicianship lying on the just right side of technical. Wasting Time (Eternal Summer) on the other hand is much more of a straight up, balls-to-the-wall Punk/Rock anthem which really accentuates Dan O'Connor and Alan Day's passionate vocals and for 3 minutes and 18 seconds completely removes me from London's eternal winter.

However, the biggest problem with following up an album as groundbreaking as Rise Or Die Trying and songs of the quality of those mentioned above, is that tracks anything short of genius are going to seem a little plain in comparison. And as much as it pains me to say it, that is indeed the case for Enemy Of The World. There are still some great songs on here - Paul Revere's Midnight Ride, One Step At A Time, and Enemy Of The World providing a few examples - but outside of those two teaser tracks, the album seems to lack those exceptional moments previously present. I'm sure I'm not the only one who punched the air in delight (before looking anxiously around the room hoping that nobody saw) upon hearing the opening riff of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Hell, the initial drop in Bada Bing! With A Pipe! and lines such as "Try To Keep Your Thoughts Above The Belt" from Beatdown In The Key Of Happy. But even without these killer moments, it's still a great Pop Punk album, and Machine's expert production has again done a brilliant job of emphasizing all those aspects that have won over so many fans since the band's beginnings back in 2001.

8/10

Choice tracks: It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now, Enemy Of The World
For fans of: Set Your Goals, Lifetime

Buy Enemy of the World from Amazon US// Buy Enemy Of The World from Amazon UK

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