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.