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Releases of the Week: A Day To Remember & August Burns Red by subsonicd1sc0rd
March 1, 2009, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: , ,

A Day To Remember – Homesick

In recent years, there’s been a notable increase in the amount of “pop-mosh” bands, a ridiculous nickname for those playing hardcore influenced pop punk. Genre leaders New Found Glory made their contribution with last year’s Tip Of The Iceberg and its release has spawned dozens of new groups trying to be the next scene sensation. Little did these kids know that A Day To Remember would put out an album that sets a new standard for a seemingly one-dimensional style of music. Homesick is the most energetic album I’ve heard in years; each song encompasses catchy choruses, tastefully placed breakdowns and more sing-a-longs than an episode of Barney.

Although the instrumentation on Homesick is nothing new, A Day To Remember are excellent songwriters and succeed in creating hook after hook after hook. This is the type of album you can listen to once and know every word. You can picture the crowd participating in the gang vocals and passionate screams. Right when you think you’ve got the A Day To Remember formula down, the last track throws you a curveball. “If It Means A Lot To You” is a beautifully crafted acoustic number featuring the angelic voice of Sierra Kusterbeck from VersaEmerge. As the track peaks with an uplifting chant of “la la’s” and concludes with a heartfelt, acapella section filled with vocal harmonies, it becomes evident that A Day To Remember have recorded an album to remember.

 


August Burns Red – Lost Messengers: The Outtakes

B-side albums are usually recorded for the diehard fan. August Burns Red’s latest release is no exception. Those familiar with the band won’t predict everything this EP has to offer. Opening with the track “Chasing The Dragon”, it is immediately noticeable that, gasp, there are no breakdowns! This track is pure riff-magic. It will satisfy anyone that likes their metal fast and relentless. “Mosley” is a bit less impressive but still features the virtuosic drumming that August Burns Red are known for. It may be a little formulaic but the musicianship is truly top-notch.

The EP takes an unexpected route as the next three tracks show a different side of August Burns Red. Their cover of “Carol Of The Bells”, featured in the trailer spots for The Spirit, is absolutely the highlight of the disc; this popular Christmas tune has been transformed into a Guitar Hero ready shred-a-thon. Although the next two songs are goofy and rather unnecessary, Lost Messengers ends on a high note with demo versions of “The Truth Of A Liar” and “Vital Signs”, two absolutely killer pieces of music. It is interesting to hear how they were first conceived and fans will appreciate their inclusion on the EP. The release is meant to hold listeners over until August Burns Red record their next slab of destructive metalcore, and is worth at least one listen by those who doubt its relevance.

– Jeremy Garber

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