Four Year Strong – ‘Go Down in History’ EP

By Joshua Wroath

After a harsh and wholly unnecessary backlash from some fans on Four Year Strong’s last major release ‘In Some Way, Shape or Form’, the pop-punk/hardcore maestros rightly decided to reassess their own music, stance, situation and plans. At the time such animosity was unexpected from such a slight change in style from the album; it was bearing in on hysterical. It wasn’t bad in any sense; it was just a bit different. After that, in the 3 year gap between then and now, FYS have moved away from major record labels, caught up with their home roots, had kids and more importantly took what was a much needed rest from being on the road. It’s not an overstatement to say they were nearing burn out from their excessive touring.

The release of the eagerly awaited new EP ‘Go Down In History’ heralds a new era for the band. Its very first line starts with the perfect battle cry to announce their desires – “It’s time to set the record straight”. At last able to signpost their clearest musical goals since their break through album ‘Rise or Die Trying’, the band sound ready and empowered again.

The time apart has clearly re-energised the band. Focusing less on studio tricks, FYS have crafted a set of songs to redefine themselves and what they hope to bring to their live shows. Guitarist/vocalist Alan Day has gone as far as stating that the band were not thinking how these songs would sound on record, but how they would sound live. This has undeniably led to a clearer, stronger sound.

Packed with old school heavy riffs, the band takes no prisoners on the too-short 16-minute offering. Each song contains a spark, almost re-birth, for the band. ‘What’s in the Box?’ leans on the tones of ‘Enemy of the World’, with its super catchy chorus (which will definitely trigger a sing along in the mosh), while the slick guitars of ‘Living Proof of a Stubborn Youth’ are downright delicious. The title track ‘Go Down in History’ can be heard as a declaration of FYS’s aspirations and an open letter to all their fans – “This time, we’re gonna take the world on, bracing for impact/Cross my fingers, hope and believe that/You’ll be right by my side”. It’s a belter and will make it on the current setlist without a doubt.

A taster hopefully for the next full LP, ‘Go Down in History’ is the perfect return for FYS, creating enough raw, new sounds as well as mixing former more recognisable elements; it is the boys back to their best after a long absence.

JOSHUA WROATH

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