It’s been almost four years since A Day to Remember’s last album, What Separates Me From You, came out. Since then, fans across the world have been awaiting new material from the band. On October 8, the fans got what they were waiting for.
Common Courtesy was released two Tuesdays ago after a long legal battle with ADTR’s ex-record label, Victory Records. To sum up the long battle, ADTR wanted to produce music on their own without label influence but Victory tried to stop them. After years of battling, the band was finally able to release their highly-anticipated album.
Common Courtesy sounds like the band’s old stuff, much like Homesick, which is a huge fan favorite. The album mixes soft, acoustic-like songs with the upbeat rock anthems that the band in known for. Of course, Common Courtesy also has some really heavy songs mixed in with some really awesome breakdowns.
The track listing is as follows:
1. “City of Ocala”
2. “Right Back at it Again”
3. “Sometimes You’re the
Hammer, Sometimes You’re
4. “Dead & Buried”
5. “Best of Me”
6. “I’m Already Gone”
7. “Violence (Enough is
8. “Life @ 11”
9. “I Surrender Life Lessons
Learned the Hard Way”
10. “End of Me”
11. “The Document Speaks
12. “I Remember”
Every song on this album is very good, but these are some of the songs that stood out the most.
“City of Ocala” and “Right Back at it Again” are basically one long song, as there is an interlude between the two that combines them. Both songs are upbeat and both carry a certain weight to them. “City of Ocala” is a song about the band’s home city and how they got started. “Right Back at it Again” is a tad bit heavier, but not the heaviest on the album. The song centers around the band getting back on their feet.
“Dead & Buried” is a song that features a heavy intro and the first real breakdown of the album. And boy was it great to hear lead singer Jeremy McKinnon do a breakdown again. The breakdown comes in the first part of the song, and the rest of the song keeps the heavy sound but with more vocals.
“I’m Already Gone” is a soft interlude for the album. After starting at a high tempo, this song gives a break to the listener and it also allows for the softer side of the band to be displayed. An acoustic guitar plays through the entirety of the song, and McKinnon displays his well-known range. This song would be very good standing alone, but is even better when listening to the whole album because it gives the listener a much-needed breather.
The peace does not last too long though because “Violence (Enough is Enough)” starts right after. “Violence” is one of the heaviest songs on the album and was also the first single released all the way back on December 21 of last year. The album version is cleaner sounding but it does not lose any of the edge that it had as a single. This song’s breakdown is borderline vicious. With heavy guitars leading up to it, McKinnon screams, “What’s the world gunna say when I call your bluff, punk?” And shortly after, he also screams, “Bow your head.” Warning: the first listen through may induce chills.
The two really unique songs from the album are “This Document Speaks for Itself” and “I Remember”. Both songs are great songs, but at the end of each there is audio from the band talking. At the end of “This Document Speaks for Itself,” you can hear the band opening an email about the fate of the record (it is assumed). After a quick fast forward, you hear the band screaming with joy as it is assumed the email said they can continue with the release of their album, hence the title.
At the end of “I Remember,” the audio is of the band recounting various things that happened as they traveled the country in the very beginnings of their careers. A couple stories can be heard and it is a cool insight into the artists’ lives. The song is a little over nine minutes, and about four and a half of that is the band talking about their memories. It is a cool thing the band did for the fans they know adore them.
“Common Courtesy” is not a perfect album, but is close to it; it ranks up there with “Homesick” as their best. This album has everything an A Day To Remember fan can hope for: soft songs, hard songs and the intermediate songs that you can get stuck in your head for days without minding. For almost being gone for four years, ADTR has come back with a vengeance, and this album does them and their fans justice.