When I first heard A Day to Remember back in 2005, I instantly liked the new sound they had brought to the rock/pop punk scene. Their debut album And Their Name was Treason had me wanting more, more of the tough riffs met by harsh vocals as well as the free-flowing punk style with lighter vocals. Led by main vocalist Jeremy McKinnon, the band went on to record and release their second album For Those Who Have Heart in 2007. With the help of their new drummer, Alex Shelnutt, who replaced Bobby Scruggs in 2006, the album was even better than the first. It was full of instant fan-favourites such as “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle”, “Show ‘em the Ropes” and “Here’s to the Past”.
The release of Homesick in 2009 however, brought out a much different, much softer sound of ADTR. This album’s tour also saw the departure of guitarist Tom Denney and the arrival of his replacement Kevin Skaff. With this new line-up ADTR released their 4th album What Separates Me From You merely a year later and much to my delight the band went back to the harsh vocals of old while bringing a much more post-hardcore rock feel to the album too.
It was 2011 that saw some slight discourse for the band. It was announced that ADTR had filed a lawsuit against their label Victory Records because they were owed over $75,000 in royalties. While the label claimed it was due to lack of commitment to the 5-album contract that A Day To Remember had signed it was clear that the band were simply trying to get what they were due, as they released a statement saying that they will “continue to release music for their fans and are looking forward to touring in 2012”.
Now, if we fast-forward to October 2013 which saw the self-release of A Day to Remember’s 5th album, Common Courtesy. To me, as cliché as it sounds, this was going to be a make or break album for the band because of their troubles with Victory Records. But boy, did they make it, this album has everything ADTR fans could ever want; the melodic “I’m Already Gone” to the wild, hardcore sound of “Violence (Enough is Enough) as well as my personal favourite track “Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail”.
Common Courtesy brings back the riffs from previous albums, and then makes them heavier, it brings back McKinnon’s harsh tones with a vengeance and drives you to start moving to the music. Everything seems to come together in 13 tracks that everyone who enjoys the amalgamation of post-hardcore, pop punk and rock will be eager to see live when A Day to Remember tour again come February next year, I will certainly be ordering my tickets as soon as possible. ADTR can not only just be proud of Common Courtesy, but their fans will jubilate over it for a long time to come. Though, the be all and end all of it is this, A Day to Remember are back. Back with style too. And I have never been happier to be a fan.