Rise Or Die Trying review by Four Year Strong

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  • Released: Sep 18, 2007
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (60 votes)
Four Year Strong: Rise Or Die Trying

Sound — 9
If Fall Out Boy and Bury Your Dead had a baby, this is how it would sound. The latest band to be signed to Pete Wentz's Decaydence Records, FYS combine the pop-punk sound of Fall Out Boy and the hardcore breakdowns and 2-step riffs heard in most modern metalcore/hardcore bands (hence the BYD reference, although it should be noted FYS guitarist/frontman Dan O'Connor was once part of the very same band). If you were to listen to a FYS song for the first time, the first thing that would come to mind is, "another Fall Out Boy sounding band?", but by the end, you will have heard a band like no other. Amidst the use of regular band instruments, there is the use of synths, though not uncommon in modern music, rare in pop-punk bands (sure, there's Motion City Soundtrack and Hellogoodbye, but nobody listens to them, right?)

Lyrics — 7
The vocal aspect to FYS is similar to FOB. Both singers are in the higher range, and sing about anything (but mostly girls, although I don't think FYS is trying to appeal to 13 year old teenyboppers). Dan's voice suits the band well, but alas, draws too many comparisons to Fall Out Boy. I'm sure they could have found a more original vocalist. An example of most FYS lyrics (from 'Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die'): "I've seen the best and worst of you/But we're sticking through/Cause the without all of the ups and downs/We've been through/You know that it's true/That I could get really sick and tired of you."

Overall Impression — 8
If you don't like Fall Out Boy, you probably won't like this band (unless you're a fan of melodic hardcore). I prefer the music on this album over their previous efforts, because this album includes more of that harcore sound that seperates them from other pop-punk bands. I would have liked this album more if it had more screaming (the only screaming on the album was done by ex-BYD vocalist Mat Bruso, on 'Prepare To Be Digitally Manupulated'), although the gang vocal parts make up for that loss. They should have had better use of keyboard parts (instead of lead, why not try some strings, or possible a piano interlude? ), and more usage, too. For fans of: Set Your Goals, Fall Out Boy, Hellogoodbye, and possibly A Day To Remember.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nothing like Falloutboy & Hellogoodbye. Stop putting people off them!! Four Year Strong are amazing, you've got to hear them no matter who you are!!
    i think that all the fall out boy references were not good for getting people (especially on this site) to listen to them. although i do agree that they have a somewhat similar sound to them, there are other bands that are more respected here that would have been better to mention. and by the way, good band, imo
    they have a lot more in common with a day to remember in my opinion than with fall out boy and hellogoodbye
    oh, and dan used to be part of bury your dead. so it's kinda pointless to say that this is similar because... well obviously.
    this is a great band, excellent cd. as for all the songs sounding the same - yes, there are aspects of each song that are similar. but let me ask you this - if a band does it this good, why stray from the formula? Amazing band. Amazing live, just saw them at Warped in Chicago.
    first off, fys are my band of the moment! I personally feel they have categorised themselves in a new genre....i like to call it 'beardcore', they completely rawk out with ultimate beards! But serioulsy this is a band that has future in my opinion, saw them live in Glasgow and seeing them again supportin new found glory. The breakdowns are sweet
    I've had this album for a few months now and got to see them live the other day. Amazing stuff. Yes the songs have the same sort of tempo as the one before it, but it's fun and upbeat. 9
    Dan's vocals could have been compared to a million vocalists before Pat Stump of FOB...they sound nothing alike, this sounds like a blanket statement, made by someone who knows nothing about the genre, saying that every pop-punk vocalist should be compared to FOB (not that FYS are pop-punk, but there vocals are)
    well i do understand the reference to fob, the vocals sound a bit alike,but that doesnt mean they dont rock! Set your goals is a good comparison
    they played lulus at penn state about a week ago and i heard they were and awesome band to see live...downloaded there album and it wasnt bad but probably a necesity to see them
    This is a seriously fun album. I actually like Dan's voice, it's pop-punky, but it has a more manly overtone, plus their vocal (as well as guitar) harmonies are absolute genius. Their drummer is a damn beast too. Get the damn album, it will be fresh for really long, and it puts you in a good mood every time you listen.
    They were offering it for free!? Damn! I really like this band! Really want this album!!
    theses guys are from worcester, ma. representttt. anyways, yeah i don't entirely agree with all of the FOB comparisons... the two bands only have a few similarities. but yeah FYS is aaaaamazing. they do a lot of shows at the palladium (worcester's best venue) it's pretty sweet.
    i would have to say it is fall out boyish as far as lyrics go. i liked heroes get remembered... when i first listened to it, but then when i listened to the other songs i found that they all sound more or less the same, which was disappointing. The idea is cool though, and I'm excited to see what happens in their sophomore effort.
    Loffle Monster.
    I really only care for one song, which is Beatdown in the Key of Happy. It has a really fun beat and is very catchy.
    but,i will admit-it is fairly unique,I just cant listen to more than a few tracks without getting bored.
    If you've seen them live you wouldn't compare them to Fall Out Boy. The album doesn't really translate the hardcore side of their music very well. SEE THEM LIVE IF YOU GET THE CHANCE!!!
    Wow, stop with the Fall Out Boy references, and of course they're like Bury Your Dead, one of the members used to be in BYD.