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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 25, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: A Day To Remember’s ‘Bad Vibrations’ misses the mark

A Day To Remember

"Bad Vibrations"

American hardcore band A Day To Remember released its ninth studio album “Bad Vibrations” on Sept. 2. Listeners can take the title as a warning — “Bad Vibrations” is full of boring guitar riffs and weak lyrics. Instead of trying to create an innovative album, the band sticks to the sound that first gained in popularity — leaving new listeners quick to move on.

This album jumps right into its harsh sound with title track “Bad Vibrations.” While old fans will recognize the dark, emo sound and possible nostalgic themes of early 2000s punk, other listeners will skip over this song. Under lead singer Jeremy McKinnon’s screaming vocals, a loud guitar riff follows an overdone beat, producing nothing more than a blaring tune. There’s no feeling in the vocals or in the music, which makes the song come off as emotionless and bland. To begin an album with such a generic metal track sets the bar low for the rest of the songs on the album.

While most songs follow this routine — uncreative beats and riffs, there are a few tracks that stand out. “Forgive and Forget” is a breath of fresh air from the otherwise dark and familiar tracks. It begins with a low guitar strum that allows a string melody to trickle in behind it, leaving room for McKinnon’s softer, haunting voice. As the song grows deeper, more instruments follow suit until the climax creates a track that’s familiar to the sound of the band, yet new and refreshing. If all the tracks were created with this type of ingenuity, “Bad Vibrations” might have left new listeners content. Unfortunately, this one song isn’t enough for them to “forgive and forget” the rest of the album.

“Bad Vibrations” will not disappoint longtime fans, who will be brought a sense of ease knowing their favorite band has stayed true to its roots. As for other listeners looking for a new album for autumn, the harsh and lazy sound will herd them away.