A Day to Remember’s long-awaited fifth studio album Common Courtesy was released digitally in early October of last year but didn’t hit iTunes or record shops until right before Thanksgiving—and fans of the metalcore band were extremely thankful.
Common Courtesy was written over the course of two years beginning in 2010 and was recorded from 2012-2013 in vocalist Jeremy McKinnon’s home studio in Florida. The band and their record label were entangled in a legal battle and the reason for the digital-only release in October was based on the lack of a label.
On October 4th, A Day to Remember was notified that they won against their label in court and released the album digitally four days later. The physical copy that was self-released on November 25th contained three bonus tracks, and this is the version that I have reviewed today.
A Day to Remember pays homage to their hometown of Ocala, Fla. in the opening track and then delves headlong into hardcore tracks “Right Back At It Again” and “Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail.” Fans of shredding guitars, pulsating rhythms and thunderous growls will be pleased with “Right” and “Hammer.”
McKinnon’s melodic vocals on Common Courtesy are a welcome addition that crosses over into the pop-punk genre. Tracks like “Best of Me” and “I’m Already Gone” are radio-friendly songs with the latter reminiscent of the Foo Fighters’ recent music.
“Violence (Enough is Enough)” is already over a year old and still holds up today as strong as when it was released in December 2012 as the first single. In an interview with Revolver magazine, McKinnon explained “Violence”
I was just trying to talk about different perspectives from the world and why people do terrible things to each other. It started out, to me, feeling like you’re helpless. It felt like everything is so much bigger than you–there are people above you no matter where you go. That kind of control of what you can and can’t do. It’s really not meant to be political as it might sound–that’s just never been our band. But it’s that feeling that things are out of your hands. I wanted it to have this dark, ominous feeling.
The next track “Life @ 11” returns to the pop-punk genre resembling Blink-182 with McKinnon’s harmonizing and Alex Shelnutt’s pounding drums. “I Surrender” is another radio-friendly track that was written several years ago but was re-worked for the album. The hardest songs, in my opinion, “Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way” and “The Document Speaks for Itself,” follow up the pop songs to let you know that ADTR still knows how to growl and shred with the best of them.
It is rare to see a band put forth a release that is a general improvement over past releases. A Day to Remember has been to hell and back while writing, recording and releasing Common Courtesy so that one can almost feel their tumultuous journey. The formulaic mix of pop-punk and metalcore blend together well on this album ranging from sing-alongs to mosh invitations.
If you are looking for an album that hits all parts of the rock spectrum, buy this album and “Brace for Impact.”
- City of Ocala
- Right Back At It Again
- Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail
- Dead & Buried
- Best Of Me
- I’m Already Gone
- Violence (Enough is Enough)
- Life @ 11
- I Surrender
- Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way
- End of Me
- The Document Speaks for Itself
- I Remember
- Good Things
- Same Book But Never the Same Page
A Day To Remember — Violence (Enough is Enough)
A Day To Remember — Right Back At It Again
A Day To Remember — I Surrender