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Four Year Strong, ‘In Some Way, Shape, or Form’ – Album Review

Universal Republic / Decaydance Records

Hailing from Worcester, Mass., pop-punk band Four Year Strong formed in the early-2000s by vocalists and guitarists Dan O’Connor and Alan Day, drummer Jackson Massucco and bass player Joe Weiss. Armed with memorable hooks and strong songwriting chops, Four Year Strong fashioned an assertive and melody-rich amalgamation of pop-punk and hardcore, wasting little time amassing a loyal following and eventually rising to the upper crust of punk-pop royalty.

Now, Four Year Strong are headlining the massive AP Tour alongside Gallows, Title Fight, the Swellers and Sharks, and the boys are bringing along fresh cuts off their new full-length, ‘In Some Way, Shape, or Form,’ out Nov. 8 on Universal Republic / Decaydance Records.

‘In Some Way, Shape, or Form’ actually feels a bit more mature, as well it should, since this is the band’s third LP. Of course, the tracks are absolutely accessible, and contagious songs like “Infected,” “Bring on the World,” “Fight the Future” and “Only the Meek Get Pinched” are straightaway ready to tear up the airwaves. Songs are memorable and pop-friendly without seeming to care all that much about radio accessibility.

Themes of youth, yearning and questioning are still present, as the music carries masses of energy and playful fun. Renowned rock producer David Bendeth, the man behind such eminent names as Paramore and Papa Roach, certainly had an impact on Four Year Strong in this conversion, but his skill merely fine-tuned what the band already had, instead of transforming them into something they’re not. The 12-song set gets in and out quickly, lifting this listener up with its beguiling choruses and boundless energy before jetting out as soon as it arrived. If warm, no-frills pop-punk is what you desire, ‘In Some Way, Shape, or Form’ has it.

4 Stars

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