>> After a not-so-successful rock album and a short hiatus, heavy bearded Massachusetts pop-punkers, Four Year Strong, have returned with a five song EP entitled Go Down in History that will win over new fans and bring back wayward followers who have been wandering aimlessly since 2011. Their last full length, In Some Way, Shape, or Form, was FYS's attempt to step into the arena with top rock acts. Unfortunately, it was not accepted well by fans who wanted circle pit starters and bouncing breakdowns. Personally, I enjoyed what 'In Some Way...' brought to the table with its well crafted songs and large sound. However, it did change the band's sound drastically, leaving most fans feeling alienated.
>> Once 2014 hit Four Year Strong decided it was time to announce the return to their roots. They re-branded themselves with a new logo, signed to a new label with plenty of up-and-coming pop-punk and hardcore acts (Pure Noise Records), and announced this new EP that is pure popcore perfection. Go Down in History brings back the fast paced, hardcore infused pop-punk that fans fell in love with on Rise or Die Trying and Enemy of the World, with a few hints of rock elements. The EP starts out with a crushing guitar riff and doesn't stop its sonic onslaught until the 17 minute EP finishes its last note. The band musically mixes the catchy, jump-around nature of pop-punk with the heavy breakdown essence of melodic hardcore seamlessly. The iconic game of lyrical tag between vocalists/guitarists Alan Day and Dan O'Connor also flows well within each song, and is something that FYS fans have grown accustomed to. The lyrics are presented as a single person's thoughts, and having two people belt them only increases the intensity of their delivery.
>> Need some proof? Check out the title track and first music video from the EP 'Go Down in History' below. This song features classic gang vocal chants, a catchy chorus that will make the most stagnant concert goer nod their head, and a message of living your life to the fullest and without fear (basically everything you want in a FYS song). The video itself features footage from the band playing main stage at this year's Warped Tour in front of enormous crowds, proving that the bearded brethren still have it.
>> Another song I recommend you check out off of this EP is the first track, 'What's in the Box?', which is in reference to an iconic line in the movie Se7en (pronounced "SEVEN"). However, the movie has nothing to do with the song, which is another calling card of the band. This song starts out with a heavier than normal riff and continues on to the traditional back and forth vocals between Day and O'Connor. The chorus is the most infectious section of this song, with in-your-face lyrics about shoving "it" down your throat and a riff that will make your head move subconsciously. Check out the song below.
>> Although it is only an EP, Go Down in History represents the return of Four Year Strong and a bright future for the four piece. Each of the five songs encompasses the sound they have put together in almost 15 years. After touring with bands like Blink-182 and playing the main stage of this year's Warped Tour, Four Year Strong can only go up. Speaking of Warped, if you haven't gone yet, do yourself a favor and check these guys out. You'll be won over with just a 30 minute set.
- Zach Zima
Four Year Strong Website