“Enemy of the World”
“Enemy of the World” was Four Year Strong’s 2010 LP release, and through this album the band took the pop punk and punk musical worlds and elevated them by at least ten percent. The album starts off with one of the band’s most well-known tracks “It Must Really Suck to be Four Year Strong Right Now”, which embodies every aspect of the characteristic sound that Four Year Strong always delivers. From the beginning of the album, the band sets a rapid pace for each track in terms of actual speed, and in terms of the rhythmic instrumental parts provided from track to track. With the faster pace set, the band is able to gather and hold a work that enforces a higher energy, which helps to keep the audience engaged and wanting more continuously. Taking a deeper look at the album, musically speaking, the band includes several instrumental features that are driven by weighted hits in the percussion section as well as guitar and bass riffs that are approached in a more aggressive manner. This helps to keep the album heightened as the listener moves down through the album. The instrumental parts aren’t just there; rather, the band allows each instrument to obtain its own melodic motive that is different from the previous one, which helps to provide rhythmic variety to the album, and it gives the listeners something completely different to enjoy. Through the mixture of their instrumental riffs and breakdowns, the band also includes moments of brief silence to give the audience musical relief and to add dimension to the selection it is included in. This helps to keep each work different than the previous one, and it surprises the audience members, which is another strong trait in relation to memorabilia. Another concept that this album completely enforces is the ideology of overly witty lyrical concepts. Throughout the album, the band provides their audience with lyrics that are relatable; however, they spin those lyrics in such a way that they almost come across as puns, which gives them a creative edge compared to other artists in the scene. Overall, I would give this album a strong 5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this album such a score because, to put it bluntly, this album is a musical masterpiece. This album embodies every single trait that any pop punk or punk loving fan would enjoy: it’s fast, unique, and overly pleasing. When I think of this album, my thoughts move towards the thought of “groove-tune central”. That is because every single song on the album would sound phenomenal live, and it would guarantee an audience member a fantastic time.
Top Tracks: What the Hell is a Gigawatt?, It Must Really Suck to be Four Year Strong Right Now, Wasting Time (Eternal Summer).
“Four Year Strong”
“Four Year Strong” is the band’s self-titled album that was released in 2015. There was a high expectation set for this album, for up until this release the band had yet to fail their audience, and that standing remained solid through this fantastic release. Similar to previous releases for the band, the artist wasn’t afraid to jump into the album full force, giving their audience their characteristic aggressive yet overly pleasing sound. When looking at this album as a whole, the band presents a cohesive sound when moving from track to track, which helps to make this work overly symmetrical. This is smart for the artist, for every selection on the album appears to fit perfectly in the mix, which will make their audience want to keep listening from the very beginning. Just like similar releases, the band provides heavily weighted instrumental parts that are often followed by smaller moments of silence to provide musical relief for the audience. This tactic is strong to hold firm on a later release because their audience adores their characteristic sound, and that is exactly what the band gave their audience; however, it is easily heard throughout this album that the band took that same sound and refined it slightly to continuously evolve with the scene, but they didn’t fall too far away from their beloved sound. The songs presented on this album convey the same energy, for they make for a fantastic live performance experience. This is because the band is giving their audience music that is driven on cute motivic ideas that link each melodic idea together, while providing overly clever lyrics overtop that they’ll likely connect with. Overall, I would give this album 5 out of 5 stars as well. I am giving this album such a score because Four Year Strong produced another rock-solid album that doesn’t disappoint even in the slightest. The album provides an energetic vibe that you’d have to try to hate alongside with memorable lyrics and melodic ideas.
Top Tracks: We All Float Down Here, Who Cares?, Wipe Yourself Off, Man. You Dead.
And by the skin of its teeth…
The winner is… “Enemy of the World”, the 2010 Four Year Strong release! I will admit, choosing a winner out of these two albums is quite the hard decision, but there were a very few traits that helped me lean towards this album. The first trait that helped me come to this decision was the notion that every track on this album is uniquely itself, and it provides a new sound to audience members that would keep them wanting more. The second factor that helped me land on this decision is the fact that “Enemy of the World” provides the punk and pop punk scene with some of the most memorable and best crafted works to come through the scene; to further, Four Year Strong has always had a characteristic sound, but with this album that sound was solidified and sung across the masses, which would make it hard not to declare this one the winner. Regardless, if you aren’t a fan of Four Year Strong, or you’ve never heard their music, I highly suggest that you stop what you’re doing and change that: you won’t be sorry.