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Four Year Strong, ‘Just Drive’ – Song Review

Universal Republic / Decaydance Records

From the building guitar noise in the introduction until the complete punk-pop frenzy of the hooky chorus, Worcester, Mass. act Four Year Strong show a tenacious flare for the dramatic on ‘Just Drive.’ The spunky vignette appears on the band’s upcoming full-length album, ‘In Some Way, Shape, or Form,’ out Nov. 8 on Universal Republic / Decaydance Records.

Taking influence from a variety of emo-pop and punk revivalists, the quartet delivers a solid, New Found Glory-like spirit from beginning to end. They start out still and quiet and rev up quickly with beguiling, upbeat riffing and Dan O’Connor’s earnest croon, showing that Four Year Strong can be graceful and melodic as well as carry might.

Energetic outbursts are the norm, and O’Connor’s lyrics carry an urgency, masked in the bouncy instrumentals, warning, “We live in a time bomb that’s ticking down / The red and green wires have faded to brown / There’s no way of knowing if we’ll survive / But ’til we hit zero I’m going to try / It could all end tomorrow / so let’s live it up tonight…”

The band goes into all-out party mode at the chorus: “Just drive! / Time is waiting race the light /
They’ll read about us when we die / Don’t stop for anything tonight / The world is ending so just drive!”

Produced by David Bendeth, who has worked the knobs for Paramore and Papa Roach, O’Connor’s mounting vocals certainly highlight the song. That’s not to ignore the outfit’s steady and proficient instrumentation. Four Year Strong’s energy is irresistible, and ‘Just Drive’ blasts through as their heaviest, most complex single to date, marrying punk, rock, emo and a dash of hardcore.

Listen to Four Year Strong, ‘Just Drive’

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