On My Playlist: Top 5 Four Year Strong songs

Four Year Strong
Four Year Strong

Four Year Strong is one of the pioneers of the easycore music style that mixes hardcore music with melodic pop to bring a catchy tune with a good bit of punch.
Their lyrics are always relatable and their song titles are some of the most creative that I have ever heard, with a number of excellent pop culture references throughout.
The music, on the other hand, is fluent and technically sound with a few breakdowns thrown in to get the mosh pits moving.
Four Year Strong consists of Alan Day – lead vocals, guitars, keyboard; Dan O’Connor – lead vocals, guitars, keyboard; Jake Massucco – drums, percussion and Joe Weiss – bass guitar, backing vocals.
Honourable mentions: ‘Wasting Time’ (Eternal Summer), ‘Abandon Ship or Abandon All Hope’, ‘Bada Bing’, ‘Wit a Pipe!’, ‘Nineteen with Neck Tatz’, ‘Eating My Words’, ‘One Step At A Time’, ‘Stolen Credit Card’, ‘Beatdown In The Key of Happy’.
5. We All Float Down Here
This track gets your blood pumping from the start with a tasty riff before Day sings ‘Peel your skin back to show what you’re made of. Too bad you never did have the guts to know where your heart should go,’ to get the song moving. The harmonies in the chorus between Day and O’Connor are exceptional here as their voices work together perfectly with the distorted riffs. It just makes it seem that much edgier. The bridge is also a fantastic element of instrumental improvisation that will make you bang your head up and down as the hardcore influences come through. The song focuses on people who use other people for their own advantage and the fact that their deeds will come back to bite them someday.

4. It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now
The best thing about this song is not only the sarcastic and playful title but also the intro riff that is definitely one of the best in their catalogue. Here, the chorus is the true highlight as it focuses on being yourself and making the best of each situation: ‘Don’t fix it if it hasn’t broken yet. Don’t regret it if it hasn’t happened yet. So let’s go. A tiny spark to set it off. I’ll explode. Ignite the dark, illuminate the unknown. But since your head’s in the clouds. The best advice I’ve found is don’t look down.’
The delivery of the lyrics in the chorus is truly top-notch and will have you singing together in no time. The breakdown snare section is also a great way for the song to build up to the final chorus with Masucco’s simple but effective drumming being one of the song’s strong points.

3. Wipe Yourself Off Man, You Dead
Guitars play a real prominent part in Four Year Strong and in this gem of a song on their self-titled album, it is no different. The clean intro guitar followed by the distorted riff is an absolute classic. The song also has a perfect fast pace with some fantastic tour-based lyrics on the band’s experiences of touring: ‘Don’t put out the fire. It’s been the summer like I wanted but it’s never enough. And although my bones are tired. I won’t change a thing.’
This track also has a sweet breakdown and chugging that tie things up perfectly. The gang-style vocals also further amplify this to a tee: ‘This madness feeds our sanity’ as the stop-start guitar and drum rhythm give this track an extra edge.

2. What The Hell Is A Gigawatt?
This number with the Back To The Future reference is one of my favourite songs from Four Year Strong as it binds together every-thing that makes this band stand out. The song starts with a thunderous guitar and drum combo before O’Connor sings ‘Today’s the day that we start this war. Make up your mind and decide what you are fighting for.’
Gang vocals once again play a prominent part in this song especially in the bridge when the song goes into a full hardcore mode with scream vocals: ‘This is an outrage. Today’s the day that we start this war. Make up your mind and decide. This is an outrage, I’m so disgusted.’
The song also uses synth, which gives it a melodic feel, combined with the other hardcore elements. Definitely one of the rawest songs from Four Year Strong.

1. Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die
This is one of the older tracks from Four Year Strong but, to me, it showcases them at their very best with drop-tuned guitars, double bass drumming and catchy lyrics. Day and O’Connor bounce their vocals off each other perfectly and just showcase their unique combination. It starts off with a superb guitar intro that lays the platform for the entire song. The highlight is the elongated bridge where the lyrics, ‘Sad enough to say that alone I could barely light a match. But together we can burn this place down,’ get repeated before the song descends into breakdown mode after they sing: ‘Sorry about the mess. But when we team up, team up. We always seem to bring this place to the ground.’

  AUTHOR
Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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