Whoever thought of mating anger with happiness blew my f@#%ing mind. I'm of course talking about the affectionately-labeled "happy hardcore" (or "melodic hardcore" to those keeping official track), a trend that is catching on in a big way. You've probably already noticed this burgeoning movement erupting through bands like Set Your Goals, Daggermouth, Four Year Strong -- and of course the band that began the movement in the first place, Fall Out Boy. Don't act so offended, hardcore kids.
Expect to hear a lot about the next up-and-coming act in metalcore, a five piece from Florida called A Day to Remember. These kids can rock, and they've got the melodic hardcore world by its tail with their new release, Homesick.
Yep, here comes another bastard-child analogy to try to put the band's sound on the level. Think Bullet for My Valentine (fresh off a recent fling with My Chemical Romance) meets Fall Out Boy, falls in puppy love, elopes to Vegas and is wed by Set Your Goals, who have the authority to marry following a mix-up at the state department. The resulting offspring would sound a lot like ADTR.
Homesick makes me feel simultaneously comfortable and violently ill. ADTR masters the art of hardcore with an ecstatic flair, utilizing some of the most radio friendly riffs I've heard from a hardcore act. The screaming borders on death metal; the drums are oddly dumbed down. But the edge is there in a big way...and so are the hooks. They could have called this album The Next Big Thing in Underground Music and it would have turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Final summation? A Day to Remember will top my chart as the next music act that I love to hate, drawing in an audience most hardcore bands won't be able to relate to but keeping me interested with their catchy, edgy tracks. They stand as a reminder that even hardcore can be relatable to a wider audience while solidifying the death of gang vocals. RIP.
Here's a track from the new album, Homesick, for your listening pleasure.
"You know I've got you, / like a puppet in the palm of my hand, / don't you let me down."
- A Day to Remember, "I'm Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?"