Across their first six albums, A Day To Remember put their world to rights with a furious blend of post-hardcore and pop-punk. While other metalcore bands – think Bring Me The Horizon and Architects – went on to play with synths and electronics, ADTR largely stuck to their roots. On 2016’s ‘Bad Vibrations’, the Floridian five-piece talked about their reluctance to grow up, the frustrations of being an artist and how success changes people; all this set against a delicious backdrop of crushing breakdowns and stadium-sized choruses.
The first taste of a follow-up came in the form of 2019’s ‘Rescue Me’, a joyous trap-influenced collaboration with EDM superstar Marshmello, which split their fanbase firmly down the middle. Their own outsider anthem ‘Degenerates’ quickly followed, as did vocalist Jeremy McKinnon’s claims that ‘You’re Welcome’ would “run the whole gambit of what an ADTR record is.”
Opener ‘Brick Wall’, a vicious, nihilistic rager, instantly delivers; unfortunately the rest of the record isn’t as focused. ‘F.Y.M.’ is a song of rebellion with the sort of lyrics dreamt up by a belligerent teen being told they’re not being brought new shoes. “Wait till I get some ‘Fuck you’ money,” McKinnon chants at his non-existent boss over discount Killers riffs. ‘Bloodsucker’ feels like a bad rock cover of Justin Bieber’s ‘Despacito’ and ‘High Diving’ sees the band shrugging off the haters (“put up or shut up!”) over forgettable pop-rock. The most surprising thing about the sugary sweet ‘Everything We Need’ is the fact that it preaches a message of contentment, a stark contrast to everything that’s come before.
The problem is perhaps one of timing: ‘You’re Welcome’ was originally scheduled for release in November 2019. You don’t need to tell us what an utterly trying and bizarre time it’s been since then, but there’s not a trace of our current struggle on ‘You’re Welcome’. Instead the band tries to find something worth raging against, picking half-hearted battles with day jobs, online criticism and being judged for the way they dress. It all feels very privileged.
When they get it right, ‘You’re Welcome’ proves that A Day To Remember could be one of the most progressive rock bands around – ‘Looks Like Hell’, for example, is a smart blend of emo and trap. But there are more misses than hits here, as A Day To Remember struggle to work out who their band should be in 2021. “The future freaks me out,” McKinnon sings on ‘Permanent’. Throughout ‘You’re Welcome’, it’s a fear that really holds them back.
Release date: March 5
Record label: Fueled by Ramen