In a perfect world, A Day To Remember’s sixth studio album Bad Vibrations lives up to the hype the band built for themselves over 13 years. However, it’s not a perfect world as ADTR so eloquently illustrated in Bad Vibrations.
It’s difficult to fault a band for evolving considering musicians don’t create music to please the masses.
In this case, A Day To Remember graduated from producing the fist-pumping, mosh-inducing tracks of the past on Homesick and What Separates Me From You. Bad Vibrations is missing the raging one-liners (“…this is a battleground!” and “…disrespect your surroundings!”) that generated absolute insanity at live shows. From the band’s five single releases, it’s clear this album isn;t intended to sound like their last. While overall, the album is considerably heavier than the previous five, the majority is endless “chugging” in guitar leads.
It just kind of happened naturally that the record is heavier. I don’t know why that is or what triggered that. Subconsciously, it probably just happened. It could have been because we were finally all together in a room writing again and everyone’s pissed off. Who knows? But it wasn’t like we targeted that we need a heavy record. It just came together that way.
That being said, Bad Vibrations is a substantially diverse record – perhaps the result of all five members collaborating on the song writing process. The album explodes out of the gate with the title-track and “Paranoia” – two songs released as singles in March and June. The speedy hardcore punk plays homage to their roots and arena anthems of the past before drastically transitioning into different elements. “Naivety” explores the simplicity of the younger days while “Exposed” is a political left hook from lead vocalist Jeremy McKinnon and their heaviest track to date.
The light sounds take over in the second half of the album with “Forgive and Forget” and “In Florida.” The tracks offer a different perspective, especially on “We Got This” as McKinnon provides and optimistic message with the lyrics “You’re just like me when I was your age /
Things do get better, trust me I’ve been there.”
Bad Vibrations isn’t the career-defining milestone that some were expecting after “Common Courtesy,” but ADTR did bring a unique substance to the table this time around. Something has to be said for the band’s willingness to explore different avenues and approach an album rather different from the last.