Jeremy McKinnon is a scrawny dude. He has a thick beard and, other than some gauged ears, looks like your normal pizza delivery dude or community college dropout. But, duh, looks can be deceiving. This guy is the definition of two-in-one. He handles both the nasally melodic vocals and I’ve-got-a-werewolf-in-my-throat growls for A Day to Remember. It’s like if Jekyll and Hyde was chased by tweens in neon instead of policemen in bell-shaped hats. However, it’s fairly safe to say these stupid people are onto something. Dummies can get lucky every now and then. Yes, sure, I’m fully aware all the “smart” music fans on this site hate (like totally despise!) ADTR. Hey! All you crabbypants need to cheer up and hitch a ride on xXshaantluverXx’s bandwagon. She beat you to it, and you better believe she’s going to rub it in your face.
I’m surprised ADTR decided to re-release 2005’s And Their Name Was Treason as Old Record since, you know, Indianola is such a powerhouse label. Bombshell’s fanclub is probably boycotting the shit out of this thing, but f**k ‘em, ADTR can do without their support! This remastered version isn’t anything to go nuts over if you own the original, but for those of us (read: me) who first heard the band last year, this is a nice treat. The style and speed heard on For Those Who Have Heart is still here. “Nineteen Fifty Eight”, for example, could easily have been on that record: lyrics about murder, excessive doublebass and McKinnon wailing like the last Hot Topic on Earth is about to close. But you have to hand it to these guys, there’s a certain drama and attention to sidestepping lackluster repetitions that makes Old Record feel new each time. (Yes, I played off the album title. Sue me.)
There’s not much point to detailing each song. It’s pretty easy to get the gist of things by the halfway point of “Heart Less.” Pummeling guitars go right to the brink of annoyance before either A.) Settling into a dark breakdown or B.) Jazzing things up with some technical shredding. What’s not to like? The lyrics here are a bit more honest than …Have Heart since that record was all about “making it.” Here we have uncertainty and unusually bloody breakup fare (“Heart Less” even has a gun shot), but we also have some cheeseball lover moments: “I’ve never seen a smile that can light the room like yours.” That line is from the one campfire ballad (and by campfire I mean a smoldering Abercrombie & Fitch) entitled “You Had Me @ Hello.” The song replaces screaming and anger with acoustic guitars and drum machines. It’s pretty weak, but then again so am I. Plus, its placement right before barnburner “Nineteen Fifty Eight” is quite deft (that means clever or smart, xXshaantluverXx. Please don’t kill me.)
I don’t know what you want from me, but I like Old Record. It’s short, aggressive and tolerable. A Day To Remember will release a new record early next year, and I expect it’ll blow up. With very few missteps, they’ve figured out this whole pop-metal thing. And despite all the asshole contained within this review, I wholeheartedly support Old Record.