Pop punk heroes Four Year Strong are all set to drop their new self-titled album via Pure Noise Records. Four Year Strong is the band’s fifth full-length release—their first since being signed to Pure Noise—and there’s currently a leaked version floating around the internet. Should I be reviewing said leaked version? Probably not, but I’m going to anyway.
Four Year Strong returned to the scene last year, playing Vans Warped Tour after releasing a little teaser in the form of their Go Down In History EP. They’ve had huge success with their previous releases, my favourite (and arguably the best) being 2010’s Enemy Of The World. In 2011, Four Year Strong released In Some Way, Shape Or Form to mixed (read: bad) reviews before disappearing for some time. In the words of guitarist/vocalist Dan O’Connor, “some people felt [the album] was too big of a jump for our band.”
Four Year Strong didn’t have to achieve much in order for it to be better than the last release, and luckily for everyone, it does just enough. According to O’Connor the new album is “One of the most raw records we’ve ever made, it’s just us playing. No fancy computer shit. Made for singing along and head-banging.”
Four Year Strong released three songs prior to the release of the album, the first being “We All Float Down Here” in April. This track sees Alan Day reach the top of his vocal range from the very start: “Peel your skin back to show what you’re made of / Too bad you never did have the guts to know where your heart should go.” The title is an obvious reference to Stephen King’s It, and it’s cool to see the band’s penchant for pop culture references still going strong. This release was followed by “I’m A Big, Bright Shining Star” and “Eating My Words,” and all three are definite highlights. The album closes with “Go Down In History” which essentially sounds the same as it did when they released it with their EP of the same name last year, which makes it a little bit anticlimactic as a closing track.
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Four Year Strong is a good album. It’s easily better than In Some Way, Shape Or Form but it’s still a letdown for fans of Rise Or Die Trying and Enemy Of The World. None of the tracks stand out like “Bada Bing! Wit’ A Pipe” or “It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now”, but it’s a solid album nonetheless.