Way back when, I found a band that was advertising a free download of their album to try to generate some interest. I downloaded the album, signed up for some kind of newsletter, and my heart grew wings as soon as I began listening to Rise or Die Trying by Four Year Strong. I fell in love with the album – I was head over heels, it was love at first sight, etc. I listened to that album so much it was nearly ridiculous. I still have lyrics from that album that I jotted down on index cards hanging up in my closet. Fast forward a couple of albums and I lost interest in what the band was becoming. I found their new album the other night, so we’re going to have a listen to In Some Way, Shape, Or Form by Four Year Strong.
The first song on this album, The Infected, has a completely different feel from the band I fell in love with in 2007. It’s a lot harder, a lot less light hearted, but the emotion behind the lyrics is still there.
Stuck in the Middle sounds like a more mature version of the band I fell in love with from Rise or Die Trying. The musical qualities are tightened and the vocals sound like they know what they’re doing instead of just angsty yelling.
Fairweather Fan is a fantastic song that I would love see performed live. The energy of this song would surely blow the lid of the crowd collectively. I can also appreciate the nod back to Rise or Die Trying (sorry I keep mentioning that album, it’s just really phenomenal).
I get a lot of punk and pop-punk influences from Falling On You – probably more-so than the rest of the songs on the album. This album gets a little better with every song that comes through.
Though the lyrics are not as strong as the album I’ve mentioned about five hundred times in this tiny post, the lyrics from this album are pretty strong. I love the echo lyrics they have in a lot of songs that would be fun in crowds (when they knew the words). I think my favorite song lyrically would have to be Bring on the World. If the zombie apocalypse was happening, I think I would want this song to be my theme song just because of the uplifting-yet-rambunctious feel.
The album ends with the very interesting 70s rock feeling Only the Meek Get Pinched, the Bold Survive. The beginning of this song has the remnants of a really great power ballad that I can definitely get into. This is a smart ending note because the song has a different quality to it, but still maintains the same thread that is felt throughout the album, which I felt was a pretty positive and us-against-the-odds feeling.
It’s good to see a favorite band pumping out some more good tunes, especially when you were as in love with a band as I was for a while. I would love to have a quarter for every time I cycled Rise or Die Trying in my car or on my computer or on my iPod. It was intense, I assure you. This album nearly comes close to that quality – but is still good enough that my faith is restored.
Fairweather Fan (track 5)
Falling On You (track 7)
Only the Meek Get pinched, the Bold Survive (track 12)