A Day To Remember must have been feeling the pressure in following up 2009's hugely successful Homesic. We've seen how many bands strive to match that one good album which made the difference. Ususally, it doesn't happen. Especially when those bands stick to the same formula and try to create that same album, but bigger and better. And the deal with the new ADTR album What Separates Me From You is kind of exactly that. They've done great, but maybe not as good.
In this new album, ADTR take their already established 'pop punk meets metalcore' formula and run with it. All the elements are here: the real catchy hooks, that huge production sound (provided by Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory, who also did the last album). They've got the phat guitars, the metal-to-pop vocal variety and the state of the art beatdown precision. The only thing is that, even though this album is catchy as hell and fun to listen to, it doesn't grow in your head as much as their previous stuff. But who am I to say? What Separates... has sold 130,000 copies in less than 5 months since its release.
ADTR: ready to be the real deal
To my ears, it also sounds like Tom Denney's (ex-guitarist and HC loco icon) departure can be felt. The dude obviously has great musicianship and even though guitar duo Neil Westfall and Kevin Skaff can pull it off, it seems like maybe Denney made the difference. The bigger - and only - difference is that the overall outcome is a bit more whiney and drawn to the pop-metal side, as opposed to the punk rock feel ADTR had kept up to their last record.
All in all, What Separates... is not a bad album by any means. It is a very entertaining and easy to listen to album; and it will surely keep good company to those kids feeling lost and hazy, while they spend their time trying to figure their lives out. Oh, and check the new video out, practically everyone's in it!