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ATP! Album Review: A Day To Remember – Common Courtesy

Having spent months battling a court case with their label Victory Records, it’s been a nail-biting few weeks for A Day To Remember, who up until recently had no idea if they’d even be able to release their new album Common Courtesy. Thankfully the music gods (and a judge) have allowed them to lay down their well-constructed mess of pop-punk and hardcore to be unleashed to its fans. But is it worth all the stress and hard work?

Common Courtesy opens in a blistering A Day To Remember fashion, with the punchy guitar rhythms of ‘City of Ocala’ and a “FUCK YEAH” to throw you right into the whirlpool of pop-mosh goodness. Already from the outset it’s proven that A Day To Remember have returned with a massive bunch of solid anthems squeezed into their fifth record.

Flowing straight on into ‘Right Back At It Again’ which continues the catchy hardcore beats that have remained a prominent feature in all of A Day To Remember's albums, there’s the huge chant-worthy chorus, some a capella beat-boxing (seriously, it works) and ends on a harmonious “Biiiiitttccchhhhh.”

One thing that’s noticeable in Common Courtesy is the additional recorded conversations that feature on a substantial amount of the tracks. Whether they’re discussing if they “like the bitch” or reminiscing about tour stories, the little additions do add an insight into the life of the band. However their little chats appear a little too often, maybe. It’s funny the first time, even the second and third, but after listening to them having a natter for five minutes after the song has finished just gets a bit tedious. Fortunately the songs on the album more than make up for it.

‘Dead & Buried’ and ‘Violence (Enough is Enough)’ offer the brutal breakdowns and deep screams that will have the moshers lapping it up at their live shows and will undoubtedly cause absolute mayhem, fists at the ready!

‘I’m Already Gone’ and ‘End of Me’ offer the subtle acoustic melodies that sweeten A Day To Remember up a little. With ‘I’m Already Gone’ telling a well-known tale of moving on, growing up and losing sight of your home and what you have always known. It’s cute and, for a hardcore band, they can just about pull it off. It’ll get the girls hearts melting anyway, that’s for sure.

As you head towards the end of the record, you’re faced with the harsh words and fierce bass that stand out in ‘The Document Speaks for Itself,’ which at further inspection, appears to be about their issues with their label. With a recording of them sending an email and the words “we’re fucked” appearing at the end to emphasize the anger in the lyrics.

Not wanting to leave the record on a bitter end, though, ‘I Remember’ brings the album to an uplifting close. Singing of their happiest memories from their time as a band together and how, despite their difficulties they appreciate everything music has offered them, “I knew if I became successful, it wouldn’t change who I am.”

Once again, A Day To Remember have done themselves and their fans proud. Common Courtesy is a triumphant return from the guys. It’s absolutely rammed with beastly choruses and fist-pumpingly good tracks that firmly holds their place in the hardcore/pop-punk scene. They ain’t going nowhere!


Tamsyn Wilce

Common Courtesy is out now via the band's official website.

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