Sound — 8
From the opening seconds of the CD, the band showcases it's unique sound. The chugging guitar guitar riff that comes in behind the opening chants quickly leads into a pop-punkesque vocal delivery with a fresh guitar sound as compared to most Post-Hardcore bands around today in "The Downfall Of Us All". "My Life For Hire" opens up with a slightly more pop sound on the guitar, but, the verse enters with a catchy, almost breakdown-esque guitar riff, and a solid delivery on all the instruments. Halfway through the song, there is a breakdown, which features a rather prominent stray away from the pop-punk sound of the band into a more metalcore sound. "I'm Made Of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?" is probably their most commercially-accessible song on the album, and features Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada on vocals. It's rather catchy, but it's not one of those songs that get stuck in your head for days on end. "Mr. Highway's Thinking About The End" begins on a sad tone, and is one of the few songs that are more of the metalcore genre than of pop-punk. "Have Faith In Me" opens with a mellow guitar riff behind the drums, and the bass backs it all up nicely. It's one of the catchier songs on the album. "Welcome To My Family" features Vincent Bennett of The Acacia Strain on the vocals, and is different from the rest of the CD, genrewise, being almost straight-up metalcore. "Homesick", the title track, doesn't waste any time kicking your face in. It's rather energetic and fast-paced compared to the rest of the songs on the CD. "Holdin' It Down For The Underground" sounds like it was heavily influenced by bands like The Devil Wears Prada (which isn't a bad thing, mind you). "You Already Know What You Are", the shortest song on the CD, gets it's message across fairly well in it's 1:28 span. "Another Song About The Weekend" features the most mellow vocals by Jeremy McKinnon on the CD (aside from "If It Means A Lot To You"), and is backed-up nicely by an active drum beat, and a rather catchy breakdown halfway through the song. The closing track, "If It Means A Lot To You", features Sierra Kusterbeck of VersaEmerge on the vocals (along with McKinnon), and features only guitar and singing for the first half of the song. The drums and bass enter with about a minute left in the song and lead into a chant of "La. La-la-la. La-la-la. Now Everybody's Singing!" to close the CD.
Lyrics — 9
Jeremy McKinnon has an amazing voice, and proves it with his singing on this record, though, his screams aren't quite as good, in my opinion. The lyrics deal with things people can relate to, but aren't delivered in the conventional way. The guest vocalists enhanced the songs they performed on wonderfully, and added a new element to the CD, keeping it from becoming too repetitive or boring.
Overall Impression — 8
Homesick is not your typical pop-punk album. A Day To Remember have created a formula for combining metalcore and pop-punk and making it sound decent, and they use it well. However, it does start to get a little repetitive on the CD for the first 5 or so tracks. The addition of clean guitars and slower parts add a new element that keeps the second half fresh, though. The CD is well worth the listen, and is worth a purchase, in my opinion.