Over the years, A Day To Remember have perfected the art of combining both metalcore and pop-punk into their music and from this, it shows that the band hold themselves of high regard when it comes to making music because they really have made a genre that they can call their own. With chugga-chug breakdowns, clean pop-punk choruses and songs about having fun adventures with your friends as well as overcoming shitty times, it’s comforting to know that one album can completely connect with you on an emotional and personal level. The band have been pretty quiet for the past three years since What Separates Me From You because they’ve been going through legal problems with their contract with Victory Records and adding on to that, the stress of having to release Common Courtesy independently without the record label having any involvement whatsoever.
Although, good news is that they did win the rights of releasing their album Common Courtesy and since then, fans have been constantly talking about how this album is one of the greatest releases A Day To Remember have ever made. It is incredible to see how a band is willing to go through all that trouble in releasing an album only because they wanted fans to hear Common Courtesy as soon as possible. Money doesn’t matter and even if their reputation becomes tainted from all this court case stuff, A Day To Remember won’t let that affect them at the slightest. It’s proof that Common Courtesy holds great importance for this band, a turning point in which they made a stand for themselves despite the consequences of everything.
If you compare previous albums to Common Courtesy such as For Those Who Have Heart, Homesick and What Separates Me From You, the lyrics of Common Courtesy takes the winning rank from all the other releases. It’s admirable to see Jeremy writing lyrics that speak from the heart and that is of great importance to be able to succeed in the music industry. Obviously, it took a lot of guts to be able to write songs that reflect upon past experiences but the best kind of music speaks truth. There are songs off Common Courtesy that open up a whole new level of understanding and when you first listen to some songs, you’re bound to go ‘Wow. This song get’s me’.
When you first hear, Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail, you will instantly fall in love with the art of the lyrics in this track. My favourite part is when Jeremy sings/chants to this signature verse of the song which is in my opinion, the best part of the song (‘I reserve my right to feel uncomfortable reserve my right to be afraid / I make mistakes and I am humbled every step of the way / I want to be a better person / I wanna know the master plan / Cast your stones, cast your judgement, you don’t make me who I am’). It is such an amazing song because it is about standing up for yourself no matter how vulnerable you are. Life @ 11 also strings into the same category yet it’s more so to do with the fact that sometimes insecurities and thoughts about ourselves get the best of us and despite all our fears, we need to take a stance for what is right (‘I’m still afraid, ashamed, of what’s behind me, but you gave me the strength to stand’). Best of Me is also a notable track because the lyrics show so much emotion. There are times where we don’t realise that we have been treated unfairly by someone who we thought was trustworthy. This track reminds us that despite how trustworthy people can be, we need to be aware that sometimes what they say to us can hurt and bring us down and that we shouldn’t believe in it (‘So I’m done, cause things could never be the same / This is the last time, this is the last time you’ll ever burden me’).
A Day To Remember are also well-known for their songs that show the brutal, metalcore side of the band. When Violence (Enough Is Enough) was released as their first single to promote Common Courtesy, fans just went wild because they waited three long years for this band to release something and it was the strongest comeback witnessed by fans worldwide. When you hear that guitar riff in the beginning of the song and then Jeremy’s breakdown at the start of the verse, you will not be disappointed. For me, I believe this song was a release of anger and hatred towards Victory Records. It’s a fantastic song to listen to when you’re angry and frustrated at something and the lyrics seem to reflect this mood quite well (‘It’s in our hearts dear god don’t wanna trouble you much/ But we all need to know when enough is enough’). Also other brutal songs that are off this album are Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way and The Document Speaks for Itself. A Day To Remember have nailed it in this aspect of being able to produce heavy tracks since For Those Who Have Heart.
Apart from their metalcore side, the band have a solid pop-punk side on this album too. City of Ocala, is a great way to open up the album because the track itself shows how much they love making music and that there’s a ‘fun’ side to them if you separate all the heavy breakdowns and aggressive lyrics. It’s clever how they arranged the opening tracks of Common Courtesy because I absolutely love the fact that as soon as track one finishes playing, Right Back At It Again continues straight after, creating that nice flow in the beginning of the album. The chorus just says it all for the band as it explains that sometimes, there are people that look down on your dreams and aspirations but as long as you’re with your friends, you can conquer the world together by proving them that they’re all wrong in what they have said to you.
It’s interesting also that the band have experimented more on their acoustic stuff. Tracks like I Surrender, End of Me and I’m Already Gone have been unique additions to the album and it’s nice to see that the band are aiming to make slower songs to mix it up a little. The variety of songs off Common Courtesy can be seen in a positive light because it keeps listeners intrigued as every track is different and unique in their own way.
Overall, Common Courtesy will always take the place of being the epic comeback album A Day To Remember have ever released. To be able to release something that truly means so much to the band is inspiring because despite the horrible circumstances they’ve been through, they didn’t let that affect them at the slightest when it came to making new music. It’s safe to say that fans have touched the hearts of this band because to be driven with so much positivity and determination is such a challenge when you’re in a position where everything that is happening in your life is bringing you down. I believe that Common Courtesy is only the beginning of what A Day To Remember have to offer and the best is yet to come. They already have so much potential and have achieved so much that once they get over all this drama with Victory Records, they will be absolutely unstoppable.