When a band releases a self titled album it has to hold its own. It has to be concrete and concise. It must make an impact and really speak for the band itself. It must be strong. Well… There’s strong; and then there’s Four Year Strong.With 4 previous LPs under their belt and the help of Converge guitarist/producer Kurt Ballou, you already know that this album is a heavy hitter. Despite the groovy looking album art that may possibly depict a more “chill” album, intended to spread positive vibes and free love, the heavy is still held within. Hold on to your butts, because the self titled Four Year Strong got real strong with this one.
Entering with a track that sounds like a nightmare in the Thunderdome, Four Year Strong riff hard with ’I Hold Myself in Contempt’. In typical FYS formula, you’ll find dual vocals in the verses sprinkled with guitar riffs and chugs alike, complimented by sing-a-long chanty choruses. It’s the FYS we fell in love with when their lives were on the line trying to rise. You’ve succeeded, gentlemen. Following the heavy-hitting, fist-swinging first track we come to the first single released off the self titled album. While they are held high in the pop punk scene, FYS reminds everyone how ’We All Float Down Here’. What better way to remind us than with this insane display of musicianship. Catchy and heavy in a way that only these 4 dudes can muster, ‘We All Float Down Here’ keeps heads bobbing and feet jumping throughout the entire song. Well, at least until about the 2 minute mark when we’re hit with a surprise dirty, filthy, raunchy breakdown. I’m giving credit where credit is due; mastering the science of mixing heavy pop punk riffs with straight up hardcore breakdowns properly, is a tricky thing to do. These guys know what they’re doing, and they do it well.
After you wipe the blood from the bridge of your nose and ask yourself “how old is too old to pit?”, FYS gives you a chance to breathe with the slower, more pop-oriented 'Eating My Words’. Still heavy and an FYS tune, track three shows the softer side of the foursome from Worcester, MA. Up until this point in the record, there’s been everything needed to construct an FYS album, except maybe a lack of gang vocals. Then we get to track four: ’Wipe Yourself Off, Man. You Dead’. This track comes in with a whirlwind of spacey guitar riffs, followed by your favorite feedback wall of sound underneath a lyrical barrage of gang vocals. Showing everything the band has to offer, track four really utilizes all the aspects that makes FYS the fantastic band that they are. Catchy choruses & riffs, technical guitar littered amongst the gang vocals and quick, heavy breakdowns. You may actually have to wipe yourself off, this track will kill you with intensity.
Keeping the momentum strong the duration of the record, Four Year Strong stick to their roots with their aggressive and poppy nature. There are slight signs of early 90’s punk rearing their heads in songs like ’Who Cares’ to more riff driven, technical jams such as ’Here’s to Swimming with Bowlegged Women’ and 'The Sound of Your Heart’, FYS have a song for all types of pop punk fanatics to get sucked into. The album closes with the momentous “oh” driven ’ Go Down in History' as a finale, a remixed, remastered version of the song from 2014′s EP by the same name. It’s safe to say these boys are back in old habits and stronger than ever before. They not only went down in history. They’re creating it.
Harry’s a star. He will be a global star and I think he’s going to do movies. He’s got the ambition, the talent and the drive. He knows how to work the room and he’s nice to everybody.“
"I’ve heard nothing but good things about Harry. Niall will do well, but Harry is the star.”
Speaking about the rest of the band, the 62-year-old says of course they know Harry will go on to be a huge success outside One Direction.
“They have to know that, I mean come on. Every night it’s all about Harry. If they were the Rolling Stones he is Mick Jagger. He is the star, he is the focal point. They’ve all got their roles and fan bases.
story time: the first time I heard a professional French horn player I was really confused because I didn’t see him playing I just heard really nice music and I was like “wow,I wonder what instrument that is” because obviously it didn’t sound like any other instrument really so when I finally saw that it was a French horn I was honestly baffled because I haven’t actually heard any French horn player in my band sound that good and I wasn’t aware that it could sound that pretty considering like, all our horns sound like a trumpet player is downing in mud
why is the Undefeated clothing line just now speaking out about the tally mark issue? its been the band’s logo for 4 years. since 2011. its 2015… if you’re ticked about it, you should’ve spoken sooner.
Ahead of enormous UK shows and even (whisper it) a new album, all five members of the band have elected to speak to MOJO in a series of individual interviews tackling the entirety of their career.
That includes good times, bad times, “carnage and intrigue” and a massive “rubber dildo called Harold”… of course.
Plus the free, 15-track CD that comes with the magazine traces Fleetwood Mac’s roots through a series of classic blues and rock’n’roll recordings, including songs from Buddy Holly, Robert Johnson, Elmore James and more.
A taster of the things members talked about can be read HERE… The magazine is released in the UK on May 26th.