Long ago, A Day to Remember established themselves as leading trendsetters in the heavy pop-punk genre. With great power, comes great experimentation.
With 2016‘s Bad Vibrations we saw a marked directional change, embracing more mainstream rock, perhaps with designs on conquering the average rock listener’s radio dial rather than remaining great white sharks in a tadpole pond. You’re Welcome is charming as it gets while dancing right on top of themes of the evil love of money, fake friends in it for the wrong reasons, and of course, missing the good old days.
The latter has become a steady staple in ADTR’s holster and with tracks like “F.Y.M.” (which has almost an ‘80’s high school movie vibe and is certainly the most bop) and “Bloodsucker” (the most head banging evoking of the bunch), it’s clear why fans continually hand over the first place trophy to ADTR time and time again. “Brick Wall” and “Last Chance to Dance (Bad Friend)” sees more aggressive driving verses reaching back to the days of For Those Who Have Heart.
The anthemic “Mindreader” has a beautiful stomp-along finale while the lighthearted “High Diving” is the furthest ADTR has ever strayed into straight pop territory. Speaking of singalongs, “Viva La Mexico” and “Degenerates” are pure fun. ADTR has never had an issue paying tribute to the good times and their friends, no matter how screwed up each can seemingly be when the chips are down.
“Permanent” feels like a classic fist-pumping ‘80’s relic of true rock n’ roll, eclectic and nostalgic. The record winds down with “Everything We Need”, the album’s flawless and friendly crescendo much like fan favorite singalong “If It Means A Lot to You”. This one will no doubt launch a thousand cover videos and, if the stars align, a solid country rendition.
Overall, You’re Welcome is mostly radio-ready, and that’s not a bad thing. Every year we’re seeing our favorite “underground” bands become more and more commercial. We get it, long term, it’s what they have to do to survive. The key is to make the transition gracefully, a feat A Day To Remember takes another giant step toward with You’re Welcome.