by Erik van Rheenen
Four Year Strong sprung a corker of a surprise on the pop-punk community by announcing both the flawlessly follicled Worcester outfit’s deal with Pure Noise Records and return to the recorded music fray with the Go Down in History EP — with a marathon stint on the Vans Warped Tour to match. Fans heralded the summer of 2014 as a kind of redux version of 2009. The “Easycore Revival” banner was unfurled. The band was back to chugging out hardcore-tinged pop-punk, the tracklist boasting the same kind of silly movie-referencing song titles that were part of Rise Or Die Trying and Enemy of the World’s none-too-serious charm. Listeners rediagnosed their malaise for 2011’s In Some Way, Shape, or Form and its grungy, alternative rock leanings as three year’s worth of selective amnesia. It’s like the album AbsolutePunk reviewer and occasional PropertyOfZack contributor Thomas Nassiff called (albeit fairly), “ a beast of a heavy, radio-y rock group” buoyed by a veering, Rise Against-ish turn towards the alternative charts and an “’okay’ overall performance” never happened. Easycore is back, baby!
If Nassiff, an incredibly savvy writer with his finger pretty firmly on the pulse of the vein of pop-punk popularity, thought In Some Way, Shape, or Form was the first step towards Four Year Strong’s ascension to radio airplay and kicking down the door of being an amphitheater playing, name-brand rock band, well, why the hell isn’t Go Down in History the same kind of mature alt rock as its forerunner? I’ll take the blame and freely admit I spurned ISWSOF as the moody older brother to RODT and EOTW, an album that stands in the corner with its arms crossed, biting the inside of its cheeks as its two more famous, playful younger brothers run amok and get into all kinds of juvenile antics. I missed the rabble-rousing sing-alongs and breakdowns and lyrics that just felt right finger pointing to. Whether I was pointing them at Alan Day and Dan O’Connor in concert, or at the ceiling of my car didn’t matter. Those records were fun, and ISWSOF was dour, straight-faced, and serious.
Man Overboard, Hostage Calm, Front Porch Step (UK only), and Roam are heading on tour together in November in Europe. Check out the dates below after the jump.
The Heart Attack Tour with Man Overboard, Transit, Forever Came Calling, and Knuckle Puck just finished up. The run was great from top to bottom, so we wanted to capture a little of it for everyone who went. Ally Newbold followed Man Overboard around for the final day of The Heart Attack Tour for A Day In The Life. Check out the full feature below!
I first at arrived at the Theatre of the Living Arts around 2:45 pm on Saturday June 21, 2014. I met up with Justin Collier [guitarist of Man Overboard] and the rest of the guys who were munching on some Lorenzos’ Pizza.
After lunch, it was time for Man Overboard to sound check. They warmed up with new songs such as single, “White Lies” off of their newest full length, Heart Attack via Rise Records. This is one of my favorite songs on the record and it was pretty cool to watch them play this song with 10 other people in the room.
Zac Eisenstein’s [vocalist/guitarist of Man Overboard] family joined in on watching the sound check, including his nephew who was full of smiles.
Man Overboard, Transit, Forever Came Calling, and Knuckle Puck are going out on the Heart Attack Tour starting next week. The bands have released a new Tour Drop via Soundsupply that features two songs from each artist. Download it here and check out their upcoming tour dates below after the jump.
In the first episode, Jesse and I discuss how bands act when they’re blowing up (think: The Hotelier), who deserves credit for making emo cool again (see: Scott Heisel versus the world), Beats Music (watch: a commercial with Ellen?), and more. We’re very excited to get this off the ground, so please take a listen if you’re interested and make sure to check out the Off The Record website for show notes on the episode and for more information on how to keep up to date with us.
We know Warped Tour is steadily approaching, but there are too many great tours this spring to not boast about before a summer of fun. Whether it’s All Time Low and Man Overboard, Manchester Orchestra, Brand New and Saves The Day, or Conor Oberst, there’s a little something for everyone this upcoming season. We decided to put together a new PropertyOfZack Discussion on all the “must see” tours this spring, so check them out below and feel free to reblog with the tours you can’t wait to see!
All Time Low, Man Overboard, Handguns
There were probably a lot of groans when All Time Low, Man Overboard, and Handguns announced their spring tour together. After all, All Time Low fans are notoriously not-very-accommodating, and their fanbase doesn’t typically seem to extend to people who listen to Man Overboard and Handguns. Why tour together then?
Well for starters, because the fanbases don’t necessarily overlap all that much. The point of touring isn’t just to see pre-existing fans, it’s to reach new ones as well.
Also, because why not?
Personally, I was excited when I saw the announcement. These days it’s not often a tour gets announced that I actually listen to all of the bands on the bill. But this one runs three deep for me, and I consider that a major win. - Becky Kovach
Neck Deep, Knuckle Puck, Light Years
Chances are, you’ve heard these names thrown around at some point in the last year. Why? Because each of these bands is an up-and-comer, the future of pop punk, and its surrounding scene. And they’re each creating a lot of buzz.
Yes, these bands are young. But they’re also massively talented and put on some of the best live shows out there. So it only makes sense that they should be heading out on tour together. One of the best tours of the spring season, in fact.
Neck Deep. Knuckle Puck. Light Years. Remember those names. Get out to a show. Because one day they’re going to be the ones running everything. - Becky Kovach
Manchester Orchestra, Kevin Devine, Balance & Composure
How many times have Andy Hull and Kevin Devine toured together? It’s gotta be at least half a dozen times by now, right? Between the 2007 Brand New tour-of-biblical-proportions and every appearance Bad Books has made, to say that the two acts run in the same circles would be an understatement. In fact, it might be kind of weird at this point to see one without the other taking the stage immediately thereafter. But as all great matchings in history, there’s a damn good reason why it keeps working. The two groups, both dancing around those trying to thumb them into categories of “indie” or “alternative,” are ninja masters of their songwriting craft and boast reputations of being incredible live performers. And they’re taking along Balance and Composure for the ride, a band for whom I claim much bias in saying that they’re just the best - but also one of the “newer” bands out there that has a lot of potential to appeal to older music fans who might be showing up to the show in work blazers rather than band tees. Manchester’s newest record in several years, Cope, will be out just in time for the tour to begin and the major markets are already starting to sell out for this one months in advance, so really, don’t think - just go to this tour. - Adrienne Fisher