What Separates Past From Present

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The Spectrum

Artist: A Day To Remember

Album: What Separates Me From You

Label: Victory Records

Release Date: Nov. 16

Grade: B-

A sound to call its own is all A Day to Remember wants.

For this Ocala, Fla. band, What Separates Me From You is a variation on its signature sound. The breakdowns have been turned down, the pop-punk influence has been turned up, and the anger that it has become known for has taken on a new form. But make no mistake; this is still A Day To Remember.

The first thing longtime fans of A Day To Remember will notice when they throw on this album is that the hardcore aspects have been drastically reduced. The bone-shattering breakdowns that caused love at first listen for many fans have become a rare phenomenon on What Separates Me From You.

In addition to the endangered breakdowns, lead singer Jeremy McKinnon's gritty and harsh screams have been pushed to the backburner. This isn't always a bad thing, as McKinnon shows that he can actually sing when given the chance, and it proves to be a redeeming quality for a few songs on the album.

However, this doesn't mean that the album is completely devoid of traditional A Day To Remember hardcore songs. The fifth track on the album, "2nd Sucks," is hands-down the hardest on What Separates Me From You and is sure to shake the listener to the core.

The track opens with dark and ominous chords that gradually build until the word "Fight," ripped straight from the death-dueling classic Mortal Kombat, reverberates through the speakers and your eardrums. From there, "2nd Sucks" is essentially one long breakdown that could persuade anyone to get up and throw down.

Though the lack of harder songs is regrettable, it does work well with the album's theme. At its core, What Separates Me From You is about feeling alone and unsure in the world, and as a result, the overall tone comes off as more somber and less rage-filled than past albums.

For people who have ever been unsure of what they're doing or where they're heading in life, What Separates Me From You is an album they can relate to.

The lyrics on the album aren't exactly subtle, but they are catchy and sure to find themselves swimming around the listener's head for hours on end, especially with the track "All Signs Point to Lauderdale."

"I hate this town/ It's so washed up/ And all my friends don't give a f***/ Don't tell me that it's just bad luck/ When will I find where I fit in," McKinnon sings.

The strongest point of the album, however, is its tracking. While there are a few songs, such as "All Signs Point to Lauderdale," "You Be Tails, I'll Be Sonic," and "All I Want," that work great as standalone tracks, the album is best when listened to in its entirety.

This may not have been the album fans were expecting, but that doesn't stop What Separates Me From You from being a well-rounded record. The album may cost A Day To Remember some fans, but as with any band that begins to see even a sliver of mainstream success, this is inevitably so.

E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com