Album Review: A Day To Remember – “Common Courtesy”

World famous pop-punk band, A Day To Remember, is in a ferocious legal battle with the record label that they are currently signed to, Victory Records.

The band sued the label over royalties that they felt were not being paid to them after music and merchandise sales. The battle, initially bred of monetary issues, has cycled into the attempt for A Day To Remember to split from Victory as a whole.

In early December of 2012, ADTR put a countdown up on their website; counting down the days, hours and minutes until December 21st. At the end of the countdown, a brand new song was released, a single called “Violence [Enough is Enough]”

Fans, bloggers and news sites took to their keyboards and began to spread rumors of a new album – which front man and lead singer, Jeremy McKinnon would confirm in March of this year, announcing that A Day To Remember had finished recording the album and that they were unsure if it would be released through Victory Records.

A few months later, in August, the band announced that the new record, Common Courtesy, was to be released on October 8th – and in addition, it would be self-released. The only problem was that up to that point, ADTR was still contractually obligated to deliver two more albums through Victory; which was an obligation that the band felt that they had already fulfilled.

We’ll fast-forward a month or two…Victory Records submit injunction documents in the interest of stopping Common Courtesy’s release. Having pre-ordered the album at the beginning of the month, many fans were chewing their nails off.

On October 4th, 2013, it was decided in court that Victory would not be awarded the injunction and that A Day To Remember would be allowed to self-release the album. Now, the biggest concern for the band is that Victory might be owed profits from Common Courtesy due to their contract with the label.

With all of this established, let’s talk about the album – because it was released on its scheduled date of October 8th.

In my opinion, it couldn’t be more beautifully arranged…and I’ve listened to it the whole way through twice now. Something like that is tough for me to do between hitting the books and sleeping, so it should say something about the quality of this record.

There is something more quirky about it than the bands previous releases – something that I feel like they wouldn’t have gotten away with if they didn’t self-release this record.

I should clear something up – this band can be really heavy…but they blur the lines of early 2000’s pop-punk and heavy metal; combining screams, heavy bass lines and melodic choruses to create a unique breed of alternative rock. Despite this, it seems to be taking the world by storm. Not that this says anything about the physical realm, but at the time of this writing, A Day To Remember has over four million likes on Facebook.

Common Courtesy feels like a nice blend of their first three albums. Their 2007 full-length, For Those Who Have Heart is widely considered to be a metal album, and a lot of the guitar on their latest release is reminiscent of that composition.

The two albums directly following For Those Who Have Heart, but preceding Common Courtesy seemed to bring about the big choruses and melodic vocal section that the band is renowned for. This is certainly not absent on this month’s new album.

Of the lyrical content, I have few words to say. I have always been a lyrics man, and A Day To Remember has never been a band to disappoint in that respect. If you listen to this record (and you should), you will find direct attacks against Victory Records in songs like “The Document Speaks for Itself”.

With regard to my favorite songs, “Right Back at It Again” is really catchy, and serves as a solid narrative about the experiences of the band and their passion for the music they create. Another great one is “Dead and Buried”, which is one of those songs that reminds me of the music from For Those Who Have Heart. It’s a heavier tune with a particularly memorable breakdown.

For me, this album is exceedingly important. If you’re a fan of heavier genres, and you can also relate to the music of bands like Blink-182, you might find that you will enjoy the music on Common Courtesy.

You can purchase a digital copy today at – and I highly suggest that you do. Maybe it’ll surprise you. If it does (or doesn’t) I want to hear about it. I encourage you to leave comments on this post and let me know what you think and what I should listen to and review.

4/5 Stars

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