Editor's Rating

Have a listen to: "I Hold Myself In Contempt"

Rating out of 10

Four Year Strong – Four Year Strong

Release Date: 2nd June 2015
Pure Noise Records

Four years after what some fans considered a disappointment with ‘In Some Way, Shape or Form’, Four Year Strong have burst back into the limelight with a self-titled release to reassure fans that they still have the same old edge that people fell in love with.

While last year Four Year Strong did release a much more impressive ‘Go Down In History’ EP in comparison to 2011’s ‘In Some Way, Shape or Form’, taking the “easycore” approach over the more mainstream heavy alternative rock was a way to lure some older fans back in. This self-titled release has a stronger nudge towards 2010’s ‘Enemy of the World’.

Four Year Strong take notice of where their talents truly lay by creating over easy catchy pop punk with incredibly enjoyable hooks, then throwing in that heavier side to balance out fun with aggression. Such a formula has worked for them for so long, and also works well for other huge acts like A Day To Remember.

Opening track ‘I Hold Myself In Contempt’ uses this formula perfectly, starting with a crushing groove that would cause heads to nod and could possibly start a pit. Then comes a ridiculously catchy chorus with the short but simple words “BACK AWAY” and “TAKE THE BEST” aching to be shouted along to, all accompanied by riffs and a beat that would get the crowd jumping – a positive start to the album.

Follow up track ‘We All Float Down Here‘ is less anthemic but it carries the hooking vibe that a lot of ‘Enemy Of The World’ did.  The track contains joyous “gang vocals” on top of brutal riffs and a chorus that is still ridiculously catchy and full of energy. A lot of this resembles a firm similarity to their track ‘Find My Way Back‘. One thing that was hard not to notice was the adolescent, almost distinctive “pop-punk whine” sounding vocals that seems popular in the scene, enough for acts like ROAM and Neck Deep to try and emulate.

Four Year Strong‘ as an album is a nod that the band are heading in the right direction, capturing the sound that many people fell in love with and recreating to work for bigger crowds. Everything seems more anthemic, while older songs like ‘Maniac (R.O.D)‘ and ‘Nineteen With Neck Tatz‘ stand the test of time and continue to work with a big crowd, new tracks like ‘I’m A Big, Bright, Shining Star‘ and ‘Go Down In History‘ were clearly designed to pack arenas. Four Year Strong are clearly looking at the bigger picture here.