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ALBUM REVIEW: Four Year Strong ‘Go Down In History’

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PNE152_Cover (1)Remember in 2013 when some fool created a rumour that Four Year Strong were breaking up and then Four Year Strong retorted with it only being a brief break from touring? Either that was the greatest marketing ploy ever or we all just mistook it for hiatus. Either way, they return this year with a brand new EP entitled Go Down In History and it is one damn fine EP. If it was a girl and walked into a club, all eyes would be on her but then she’d kick the arse of whoever hits on her. Think of it as that brooding punk rock girl with the battered combat boots, ripped jeans, the Misfits shirt and piercings that you admire from a distance but when you try to talk to her, she lashes out at you with oozing sarcasm.

Essentially, Go Down In History is Four Year Strong being Four Year Strong – that being said they are not naturally brooding punk rock girls. It is Four Year Strong ripping into the visceral anger and spirit that was present in their earlier work – namely Rise or Die Trying. It is a prime example of their brand of their melodic blend of hardcore and pop punk. The joint vocals of Alan Day and Dan O’Connor create a vibrant energy with them trading off between hardcore shouts and straight-up raw pop punk vocals. The guitar work of the two of them smashes together the chugging guitar riffs of hardcore and the catchy four chord pop punk hooks which creates a monstrous sense of infectious anger and energy. The drum work of Jake Massucco deserves notable commentary as he smashes out a fantastically uptempo rhythm which contributes to the aggression present on the EP.

The EP opens aggressively with “What’s In The Box.” Day’s and O’Connor’s vocal trade-offs are present from the very start. Opening with traditionally pop punk styled vocals and eventually progressing to switching between angry hardcore shouts and raw pop punk chants. They thunder through the chorus of “When the push comes to shove / I’ll shove it down your throat.” “Living Proof of a Stubborn Youth” is a typical pop punk anthem – although a pop punk anthem that comes at you like a wrecking ball. Jammed pack full of hooks, catchy lyrics, reminiscing on the youth and a delivery that launches itself into the realms of being aggressively unfancy. “Tread Lightly” plays into a similar vein, delivering a melodic blend of hardcore and pop punk.

“Go Down In History” is my favourite song off this EP and a song that I have had on repeat for most of the time while writing this review. Aggressively unfancy does not being to describe this song. If it was a person it’d be the kind of person who nobody even decides to pick fights with because they’re petrified of them. It is the kind of person you want on your side during a pub brawl. The song is aggressive, energetic, melodic and down-right fun to dance to. Armed to the teeth with chugging riffs, hardcore chants, pop punk shouts, crashing drums and more hooks than a professional fisherman. The chorus of “It is never too late / to keep your head straight / Move your hands back and forth in perfect symmetry / so you can live like a time bomb / that doesn’t have long / GO DOWN IN HISTORY!” may be the coolest thing I have hears this year.

The EP thunders to a close with “So There’s A Chance…” and you’re left with a choice: move onto something new or hit repeat. I highly advise hitting repeat and getting your dancing shoes on. You’re in a bad mood? Mosh your bad mood away to this EP. You’re in a good mood? Let that energy out to this EP. If it wasn’t an EP, it would make its way into my Albums of the Year. Actually, it will be in there because why not? If this is anything to go by then the band has something wonderful brewing for a full length.

Purchase a CD and buy concert tickets here.

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Craig Roxburgh

I hail from the sunny city of Cape Town. Also known to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. When I'm not hunched up over my laptop looking for music and indulging in social media, you can find me tentatively playing horror games, roaming the streets on foot, reading books and probably dancing like a deranged penguin

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