After five long, and I do mean long, years, Four Year Strong came back to the pop punk scene swinging with an LP that drives their beloved characteristic sound with an innovative flair. Let’s dive into the specifics to see what makes this record so remarkable. From the jump, this album sounds like a Four Year Strong record. Some people get down on bands for putting out works that resemble the last, but with Four Year Strong people can’t get enough. This is due to the band’s overly witty lyrics mixed with edgy instrumentals that drive on the alternative, punk, rock front, while covering a spectrum of technique due to the amount of contrast found within the work. Their sound is so infectious and iconic that if they were to change their sound, there would be an uproar, so when one listens to the record from front to back, feelings of relief, nostalgia, and freshness occur. Furthermore, I could dive into every little detail surrounding this album, but if you’re a fan of the band, you’ll be a fan of the music. “Brain Pain” follows the same mold of past releases while being a nice mix of their last LP “Four Year Strong” and their most popular release “Enemy of the World”. Having a record that bridges these two works together marries the best of both worlds of the band makes for the perfect comeback. Overall, I would give this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars. This record takes listeners back to the golden days of pop punk while having a sense of eagerness of what’s to come. This album makes you want to crowd-surf and mosh at the Warped Tour, and if that doesn’t make it successful: I don’t know what does.
“It’s Cool”, “Crazy Pills”, and “Brain Pain”
When listening to this record, it is evident that all the tracks resonate in the pure Four Year Strong style, so, in true Four Year Strong fashion, there are going to be a few tracks that just throw down, and these are those works. These selections stick out, for they ride the true Four Year Strong aesthetic in terms of the witty lyrics, major instrumental juxtaposition, and overall catchy materials. On top of that, these are the tracks that the band reels in listeners through over the top instrumentals that take the selection up another level. I believe that the entire record is worth a listen, but if you just want a taste- start here.
Graphic, graphic, graphic. That is the first thing that comes to mind when I look at the album artwork, which makes it authentic to the Four Year Strong brand. When looking at the artwork by itself, the image on the front drives with an American traditional meets new school art vibe. This enhances the cluster of objects found in that one frame. The picture has two heads, a coral reef, a butterfly, and other graphic items. This image connects to the music that falls on the inside, for the bulk of the lyrical content that is heard throughout rides on the idea of the title of the work: “Brain Pain”. The lyrics dive through a variety of scenarios and emotions that one may go through that would make their mind feel clustered and crazy. With that being said, since the front cover drives with an image that is striking, but when you take the time to really analyze it- it is oddly ire, and the connection of being overwhelmed by all the thoughts and emotions in one’s brain comes across rather strong. In general, the cover art is a strong piece on its own and will likely draw people in, since it screams amped-up Four Year Strong, but once one connects it to the music on the inside: it’s a full-body success.
*”Brain Pain” was released on February 28th, 2020 through Pure Noise Records.