Common Courtesy evades disaster and absolutely delivers

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A Day To Remember, the post-hardcore band from Ocala, Flor. released their fifth studio album on Tuesday, Oct. 8 in spite of an ongoing legal battle with their label, Victory Records. From the first bold lyric to the last, “Common Courtesy” is one big middle finger.

The first few tracks on the record serve one purpose – to establish the fact that A Day to Remember is back, and no one can mess with the kids from Ocala. Their second song, Right Back At It Again,” really needs no explanation.

These early tracks are lighter and pretty melodic. I’m Already Gone” is the lightest song on the whole album, making the listener somewhat giddy and eliciting an impromptu hum-along during its first listen-through. Still, this CD manages to be one of their heaviest recordings to date.

On “Homesick,” ADTR’s third studio album, “Mr. Highway’s Thinking About the End” was easily their headbanger. “Violence [Enough is Enough],” the first single from “Common Courtesy” is their new mosh pit anthem, and marks the halfway point of this album.

“Common Courtesy” manages to serve up the most addictive ADTR experience yet, with plenty of songs pleading the listener to scream along, thrash with the band and head-nod to a newer formed lighter alternative sound that appears time and again throughout songs like “Best of Me,” “City of Ocala” and “End of Me.”

In an interview in NME magazine, lead vocalist Jeremy McKinnon attributed their more somber tones on “End of Me” to the likes of Mumford & Sons, Coldplay and Living with Lions.

There is so much emotion in this record. It’s all very clear in McKinnon’s vocals that they poured absolutely everything they had into this CD. It’s such a personal victory for the band, which hasn’t put out a new record in almost three years. “What Separates Me From You” was released Nov. 15, 2010.

The perseverance of the band forced this album into existence – the courts ruled in their favor three days prior to its release date. Boy, do I thank the courts for their appeasement in a trial which seems to be far from over.

I would give “Common Courtesy” a perfect score, but the commentary at the end of “I Remember,” starting at about the 4 minute mark annoys me. The band reflects on all of their fondest memories while on the road, but it just goes on and on and on. And on.

If you’re a fan of this genre, absolutely head to their website and part with the measly $10 that will provide you with a sure to be eargasm.

I rate this album four and a half stars out of five.

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