Four Year Strong – Some Of You Will Like This // Some Of You Won’t – REVIEW

Hailing from New England the Punk Rockers Four Year Strong are set to release their new record on the 8th of September. The record which is titled Some Of You Will Like This // Some Of You Won’t is set to be a great release with the band playing some of their old songs in new compositions or unplugged and also dropping a few new cuts at the same time. But without further ado let’s break down this new Four Year Strong release.

It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now kick starts this new record. It is a song everyone knows and is possibly FYS’ most recognizable song, but on this record and with its reimagination the song finds a new lease of life with a very beautiful and haunting musical composition that adds a new dimension to the track. Alongside this, the re-work just shows what is in-store for the rest of this record, from the beautiful vocal performances to the well-orchestrated instrumentation it is clear that FYS on this record, are setting out to please with this unplugged rarities album. All together this opening track is a beautiful redesign which opens up the album in a clear and strong way.

following on from this album opener is a duo of tracks which is fronted by Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die. The simple acoustic rendition of this song allows for the vocal performances to come to the foreground and display the ability that Alan Day and Dan O’Connor have. Although the instrumentation is far simpler than the songs original makeup there doesn’t seem to be any loss of quality in between the two very different versions of this song, with each word being just as powerful as they once had been and the new instrumentation allowing for some further internal meaning.

The second half of this duo is Go Down In History; A song which shows FYS taking a different approach to this notion of re-imagining a track, as in this the band find themselves adding in these brief moments of electronic instrumentation. Alongside this, the band switch out from the acoustic to add in this fuller and well toned electric which exists for the most part of the track. Again, as with the first two tracks and any other cuts off of this record the vocal performances are the main thing to keep an eye out for on this song, as with Four Year Strong taking a far more relaxed approach to the vocals they are able to showcase some beautifully crafted vocal melodies whilst also being able to fall back into the rougher vocal performances that they are known for

Following on from this duo is the a trio of tracks which starts with We All Float Down Here. A track which exists as far more than just a simple reimagining of the track that first came on their S/T (Self-Titled) from 2015, as the rendition of the track on this record feels like it is almost a step up from the bands original composition, especially when the band take a step away from the breakdown to focus more on to a country influenced solo.

The second part of this trio is Nice To Know which is not only the first full band song but is also the first new track on the record. The track moves along at a very steady pace with well-orchestrated instrumentation and well-toned guitars which are almost the center piece of the track. At the same time, the band start to mix in some electronic drums and instrumentation. This track is a great addition to the record as the overall composition of the song flows well with the album and what has come before it, but also shows the bands ability to create a cohesive track in and amongst some of their best cuts. The final part of this cut is Who Cares? which is a great unplugged rendition of a song of their 2015 s/t record whose tempo is slightly slower than thre original but also allows for more clarity vocally than what many may be used to from the full band version that sat upon the bands last album.

Let Me Down is another new track that is situated upon Some Of You May Like This…. Musically this track is interesting as it yet again explores more dynamics that the band has shown that they are able to do before. Specifically in this, however, FYS are almost exploring some Alt-Rock ideas whilst sticking to their iconic sound vocally. Overall this song is possibly the best of the new songs that exist on this record as even though the instrumentation feels simple at times none of it is wasted. Everything has a specific purpose.

Following on from the second original track is Stuck In The Middle and so happens to be one of the closest fully unplugged songs that exists on the record. However, even then the change to acoustic forces the band to alter things up, still showing some form of country exploration, which although at first feels odd completely compliments the track and showcases the bands musical ability as the song powers through to the end. Accompanying this is Abandon Ship, which is not only a stripped back version of the title of the song, but also of the song itself. Boiling it down to this very simple and beautifully constructed acoustic track which in a way almost takes on a ballad feeling. Having said that this is unfortunately the weakest track on the record. Even though this by no means is a bad track, as the band explore even more of these country ideas with this waning guitar that occassionaly features in the track as FYS’ vocalists croon on top.

Your Ego Is Writing Checks Your Body Can’t Cash is a song which has existed since the bands EP titled Demo 2006 and despite some slightly higher production the track hasn’t changed all that much. Having said that the instrumentation on this song is beautifully orchestrated which again allows for these chilling vocal melodies to take a hold of the song.  This Summer Session is a similar track which finds its beginnings in the early part of FYS’ discography.

For Our Father’s rounds off what is a spectacular journey through Four Year Strong reimagining tracks and displaying new songs such as this one. For Our Father’s is a powerful and beautifully crafted closer to this record. This song is a haunting cut which sends chills down the spine from the vocal performances which stick in the mind long after this record finishes.

Overall, Some Of You Will Like This // Some Of You Won’t from Four Year Strong has little to no flaws, with them looking back at some of their best songs and them producing three new cuts which are second to none. Four Year Strong do not once drop the ball on this record displaying their ability to create songs out of their normal area of expertise but doing so with finesse. This record is definetly one to check out if you still are or have ever been a fan of the band as there is little to not be loved, from the beautiful vocal performances to the tight and well written instrumentation this album is a joy. [8.5/10]

Clint ‘Vinnie’ Vincent, Dead Letter Circus – 17/10/16

Before the doors opened, We had a chance to talk to one of the guitarists of the positively reviewed alternative/prog rock band Dead Letter Circus about their current tour their own as well as album recording dynamics and what they plan to do for their bassists birthday!


So you’ve been currently doing a headliner UK/EU tour and are near the tail end, how has the whole experience been so far?

It’s been amazing man. For us, coming all the way from Australia you never really know what to expect for a crowd and we know that people know about us but you’re never sure about how big it’s going to be and it’s exceeded our expectations.

What has been the most memorable show / moment of this tour so far for you?

Well, we had a big one in London at The Dome which was close to 400 people and that was an amazing show. That one was the most memorable, but everywhere has been great. We played Birmingham the other night and it was a tiny little dingy club but it was still amazing. It’s just how we like to do it, doesn’t matter if there is 10 people there or 10,000, we want it to be amazing.

Do you ever get fans try and mimic your accents when they talk to you?

*laughs* It happens a little bit, but funnily enough that happens because we try and mimic other peoples accents as well, like ‘Oi fuckin ‘ell mate, are you gonna.. are you coming ‘ere, telling me how to do my fuckin’ business?‘ So we like to do it and in turn it makes them want to do it back to us.

Speaking of fans, What would you say is the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received from a fan or group of fans?

That’s hard to know really, there’s so many gifts and so many things happened to even mention, but in America a girl came and brought us so much Mexican food that she and her mum had cooked that day. People over here bring us drinks, the handmade gifts are always great and just seeing people after the show and telling us how much our music means to them is amazing for us.

Your latest record was your 2015 release ‘Aesthesis’. With that record now being over a year old, how have you felt the album cycle has gone?

It’s great. I mean, we didn’t tour as much off this album as we had off previous ones. In Australia, we only did two big tours off it. Over here (The UK/EU, this is the one big tour and we’ve done one big American tour as well and theres still a few legs to go. It was a year ago but I still think there might be a couple for things before the next album, but its gone really well!

How was the dynamic of recording whilst filming the documentary, knowing that you were going into this album somewhat blind?

The documentary was really un-evasive. By the end.. not even by the end, but, I think was the rule was with the documentary was ‘You need to be out of the way, you need to be a fly on the wall. You can’t get in the way of anything, you can’t have an opinion on anything‘ and then it just felt more natural to us so it didn’t really hinder it.

The way we made the album, which everyone gets to see in the documentary, was a totally new way for us as well jamming and doing it all in the studio, so I think with that, everything was fresh and it didn’t really hurt us filming it.

For you personally, what song of your bands discography would you say embodies what Dead Letter Circus is about?

Well.. ‘In Plain Sight‘ which is off the new album I feel has the best of the lyrical content of what we stand for and musically it really shows what we like to try and do by taking normal rock music or progressive rock music and changing it, giving it out own sound. We’re usually known for being really fast and that song isn’t fast but that song is unmistakably Dead Letter Circus when you hear it.

Has there ever been any moment in your career where you’ve had doubts about continuing on?

It happens quite a bit, you know what I mean? I mean, I’m a guy, i’ve got a little kid, I’m a dad. It’s a lot of hard work.. Playing original music has the best of both worlds. It has the biggest highs, but it also has the lowest lows because its art and you pour passion into it and that’s what happens.

What advice would you give to your fans that are bands and might be going through those doubts themselves?

You just gotta stick through it, it might not happen until you’re older. I didn’t say it but I’m 37 years old, you know what I mean? It’s only the last 5-8 years where the success has sort of come, so it takes time and you can’t expect it to just sort of happen you know? If you’ve got something fresh and people are interested in it, then you’ll know that you’ve gotta push through the boundaries, but then its hard to say because we got lucky as well! I could have easily given in a long time ago when I was really broke and struggling to make ends meet, but we didn’t and luckily we didn’t.

If you could put yourself on a world tour with 4 other bands that were only from Australia throughout next year, who would they be and why?

Well, first of all Twelve Foot Ninja for a start as I love those guys. Umm.. Karnivool obviously, we just did a big tour with those guys. Theres another new band that we encountered on the last tour which is Rival Fire and they’re an amazing band. Finally, probably sleepmakeswaves. They’re an instrumental band and they’re pretty freakin’ amazing.

If you only had four seats in your car, which band member would be riding in the boot?

*laughs* That’s a tough one.. Let’s just go with Palms (other guitarist) as he’s walking past right now! *laughs*

Palms (in the distance): Is this a band member you like the least?!

No, it’s basically ‘If you only had four seats in your car, which band member would be riding in the boot?’ and he’s chosen you because you’re walking past.

Palms: Awwwww!!

I definitely wanna put Kim (vocalist) in there to tell you the truth, but he would get the most upset.

*Palms and Vinnie then discuss for a minute about getting a Five Guys*

It is also apparent that it is your bassists birthday today. How are you planning on celebrating after the show?

We don’t know yet. We’re probably going to have a few beers somewhere but we are in a bus that we can’t park in this area. We might end up just driving to a petrol station somewhere and just.. partying in the bus and hanging out!

What are the plans for Dead Letter Circus for 2017?

We’re working on an acoustic album to come out. It’s mostly songs we’ve already written as well, but maybe one or two new songs and work is already beginning on Album 4 as well. We hope to have that done by the end of the year, if not it would be early the year after but I think we’re pushing for next year.

Any final words?

Thank you so much for believing in us and coming to the shows over here. Like I said, we didn’t expect anything and our expectations have been exceeded.


Their latest record ‘Aesthesis‘ can be purchased HERE

Dead Letter Circus – Live @ Exchange, Bristol (17/10/16)

In for a full night of progressive rock and metal was yesterdays enjoyable and jam packed show being lead by Australian five-piece Dead Letter Circus. With a big blend of everything you love about the genres, it showed off some exciting artists from around the world right to your front door!

THE SHIVER

Opening the show was Italy based new wave/prog rock band four piece who opened the night off on a good note. The lack of people watching the opener was a bit disheartening, but they didn’t let it affect them as they pushed through their tracks. Flowing through their songs, they brought some strong influences to their set and even a Joy Division cover! Their last few minutes of their set sounded like a chiptune boss fight track and was definitely an enjoyable highlight. The started the night off on a pretty solid note.

Rating: 3.5/5

VALIS ABLAZE

Up next were the locals for the evening, djent fuelled and raring to bring the heat for their hometown. With a beautiful sound for their lead parts during the vocal sections, that sounded superb as well, some of the lower toned moments sounded a bit muddy through the speakers. What made the night that much special for them was that a fill-in drummer all the way from Ireland came in to help them out and knocked it out of the park! Tracks like ‘Lost In The Syntax’ sounds really refined live and overall showed off why they’re one of the best in Bristol.

Rating: 4/5

DISPERSE

There are some shows where you go to knowing the headliner but then at the end think more about one of the supports. This was one of those times with Disperse bringing their A game and so much more with newer material sounding beautifully constructed, meshed together with their older material to create a set that showcases what this band are trying to do. Closing their set with ‘Message From Atlantis’ finalised their crushing live sound, with each members instruments being heard very clearly and definitely garnered a few new fans along the way. Make sure to keep an eye out for new material from these guys in the future.

Rating: 5/5

DEAD LETTER CIRCUS

For the final act, they brought something everyone wanted to see and that was a look at their entire discography and play some of their cult classics. Opening up with ‘Here We Divide’ to a by now packed room, the atmosphere in the room from the crowd is a bit lacklustre for the most part. The band didn’t let that phase them or their sound as they carried on with a barrage of tracks from their latest record ‘Aesthesis’ to which the crowd started to get more and more into it, with boisterous audience singing and bobbing of heads. Throughout the night the crowd slowly picked up and up and by the end of it, the band got the reaction they deserved all night. Bringing something everyone loves to tonight made their penultimate date that much more special (especially with the bassists birthday and him doing shots whilst playing).

Rating: 5/5