A Day To Remember are sure to incur a number of haters with their pop-laden pit core. Over the years, there have been many bands try the sing/scream route and while a number of have gone onto scene stardom (Senses Fail, Finch, Hawthorne Heights), more have fallen flat on their face. So many, that labels began to shy away from signing such bands for a just long enough period of time for us to forget how tired we were of that sound. Thankfully, I’ve forgotten how tired I was of that sound and Victory doesn’t give a shit what people like me think anyway.
Though And Their Name Was Treason was a good album, it suffered from ADTR being a young band that lacked focus in their music. The band worked desperately to fuse in their pop choruses and still stay hard enough to remain in the hardcore/metal section of your local record store. For Those Who Have Heart is improved on every level. The breakdowns hit harder, the choruses stick longer, and the production is amped several times over. Likely the greatest improvement though is in the vocal work of Jeremy McKinnon. Gone are the wavery vocals of ATNWT, replaced by a soaring confidence (no doubt aided a little by a heftier production budget) evident throughout FTWHH. For proof, look no further than comparing 2005’s “Your Way With Words Is Through Silence” to 2007’s “Colder Than My Heart, If You Can Imagine”.
It’s no easy task to please everyone in such a segmented music community. I’m reminded of Rob Pennington’s diatribe way back on his band’s 1996 Victory release, For The Love Of Indie Rock, in which he lauded kids for isolating themselves into certain scenes and the lack of community he found in music at the time. If anything, the sub-genres and cliques have gotten worse in the ten years plus since that By The Grace of God album. Many bands lack the sense of community and energy that Pennington’s band had. Oh yes, the haters will come. The good news is that A Day To Remember has the potential and sound to shut them all up and build a bridge to unite them. Mark it down, this is Victory’s next big band.