Sound — 9
In my honest opinion, this has to be A Day To Remember's best sound album. They incorperate a lot of their past stuff. On "Common Courtesy," they mainly stick to their "pop-punk" sound, rather then their "metal-core, or easy-core." They used the usual acoustic, electric, bass, drums, electronic drums, and possibly even piano. This is Jeremy McKinnon's strongest effort yet as a vocalist. Really testing his "acoustic" range to the high punk-pop, to the screams on their heavy tracks. He is at top of his game and seemingly seems to become better and better with the new material that they release upon the years.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics on this album are really good. Ranging from loneliness, to being screwed over by their record label (Victory, even though they self released this due to a court date a week before the album came out.), to a little girl killing herself (not really sure who it was or if it was just thrown in there for drama) to all of the things that they remember from leaving Ocala Florida to being all around the USA and other countries. The song, "The Document Speaks for Itself," is about the ongoing lawsuit between the band and Tony Brummel, of Victory Records.
Overall Impression — 9
Like I said before, it's a huge step up from their other albums that they released. This is one of the bands that seem to continue where they left off with their previous albums, considering other bands go in a different direction. 1. "City of Ocala": Starting out with Jeremy's screaming of "F--K YEAH!" it goes into a nice palm muted verses leading up to a poppy pre-chorus. The chorus is of course filled with 4 or 5 different power chords, but with a strong relationship of lyrics provided by Jeremy which will be a hit while playing live. Great song to start the album out with. 2. "Right Back at It Again": One of my favorite tracks on the album. Can be considered the "All I Want," track of the album. Definitely a hit single if released the right way. Starts off with octaves, and then a bass slide, and then Jeremy screaming "WE'RE COMING OUT SWINGING." Verses consist of them being in highschool, hanging out with friends and growing up. Chorus is very catchy, the highlight of the song. The bridge is where the solo happens. The solo consists of octaves mimicking the vocal notes during the chorus. After the solo it goes into electronic drums, and then the regular chorus. One thing that kinda made me irritated about the song was the screaming. The intro didn't really need it and the final pre-chorus didn't need it either. 3. "Sometimes You're the Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail": This song is the first "heavy" song on the album. Starting out with a nice chugging guitar riff, an and then into a typical strumming pre-chorus. The chorus is decent. To me it was a little annoying, yet catchy at the same time while Jeremy is singing "take, take, take, take, take it away from me." The bridge consists off strumming while Jeremy singing over it. I just feel like the mix of pop punk, and metalcore doesn't mix the correct way on this song. I still have mixed feelings about this song. 4. "Dead and Buried": Possibly being the heaviest song on the album, it starts off with the chugging palm muting as was heard previous on the song before it. The chorus has stronger and darker lyrics, and the notes his are a lot memorable then the song before it. The bridge still has the heavy part of the main riff, and then goes into a soft strumming chorus like thing. And then the regular chorus and then back into the intro/outro again. 5. "Best of Me": Starting out with a nice pop punk lead, and bass riff that doesn't consist of playing constantly. Pre-chorus shines with Jeremy's amazing vocals. Chorus is very catchy and impressionable. The bridge is very well constructed. A repackage of the verses and the chorus together (typical pop-punk vibe) The outro is pretty good and I'm glad they did it the way they did. It's a good way to end it going on into their next song. 6. "I'm Already Gone": This is the first acoustic effort on the album. Typical open chord progression. The pre-chorus and chorus provides a cute and catchy lead guitar in the background. In my opinion, this my least favorite song on the album. I'm not sure why, but it reminds me of Paramore's "The Only Exception." To me, the song just felt rushed. Maybe they were trying to hard to accomplish what they did on their song "If It Means a Lot to You." 7. "Violence (Enough Is Enough)": The heaviest song on the album. The intro is very good with palm muting and the drums. The whole song revolves on the screaming, with the exception of the pre-chorus which is sung. "Violence, give me violence." This song was first released last December, during the whole "2012 end of the world." The song is about how much violence happened in the world during that year. To me, the song is great and really shows the heaviness of the band. 8. "Life @ 11": The song starts with a catchy background riff leading into a nice lead part. The verses have a heavy palm mutting and the same lead guitar in the background. I wish the lead was louder so you could appreciate it more. The chorus comes out with a bang with the typical pop punk guitar chords and Jeremy's catchy vocals. The bridge serves well as a good build up to the final chorus. At first this song wasn't for me, but in the end it's starting to grow on me. 9. "I Surrender": This is my favorite song on the album. The second acoustic song on the album. I personally thought it was overall a lot better compared to "I'm Already Gone." It has good rhythm guitar while the lead is played behind it. The second verse is bass guitar, vocals, drums, acoustic guitar, and then the second part of it introduces the same lead guitar from the first verse. The second chorus has distorted guitars which I enjoyed listening to. The bridge is also constructed well. Great vocals throughout the whole song and the lyrics are great. The bridge shows the potential of both guitarists with the palm muted single noted lead. 10. "Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way": The song is only 2:17 long. It reminds me of a fill in song, just like "We Already Know What You Are," on the bands Homesick album. The guitars present their older sound from their albums For Those Who Have Heart and also And Their Name Was Treason/Old Record. The song is brutal, but like I said previously, I felt the song was just filler. 11. "End of Me": The third acoustic song on the album. The verses is acoustic, and the choruses provide a full band with distortion. The song revolves around the lyrics by Jeremy saying a girl would be the end of him. To me this song was a good way to get from the heaviness of the previous song, and their next song. 12. "The Document Speaks for Itself": Very distorted intro, leading into a buildup from the drums. This song is pretty much dedicated to Terry Brummel, the founder of Victory Records. Just by listening to the lyrics, you feel sympathy from the band. I'm pretty sure the verses maybe direct quotes from Brummel to the band. I thought it was very clever for them to use it into their song. Verses are heavy, choruses have the catchiness from the lyrics. The bridge has the normal metalcore breakdown and serves the song justice. "NO F--KING RESPECT!," is what the song is all about. Great effort by the band, giving it to their "record label." 13. "I Remember": Intro starts out with a neat guitar riff. The verses have palm muting and a great lead of palm muting and hitting the high notes. The chorus is all about the lyrics revolving around all the things that they "remember" from traveling around the world being a band. It's a great ending song for the album. The bridge has acoustic guitars and a good lead. This may be the first time I heard them using natural harmonics on a song in a beautiful way. Another thing is the "documentary" at the end of the song with the band members talking about what they remember. Overall this album is A Day To Remember's strongest effort yet. You can tell that this band is all about their fans, not the money. If the album was lost, I would easily re download it. If they do happen to release another version of it with more songs. I would purchase it also.