12 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With its fourth studio album, Four Year Strong took a big risk in eliminating synthesizers and keyboards from its songs, in a bid to alter and mature its musical style. In Some Way, Shape or Form is the Worcester, Mass., band’s first recording without its ivory-tickling bandmate Josh Lyford. The results successfully abound, with a meatier-sounding band playing noticeably heavier songs. “The Infected” opens with fist-punching guitar riffs chugging along a flawless rhythm section that pumps like an external combustion engine under Dan O'Connor’s muscled vocal performance. Check out the tough-as-nails guitar lead that kickstarts “The Security of the Familiar, the Tranquility of Repetition”—then it unfolds into a dynamic rock ‘n’ roll song with the band’s penchant for soaring melodic choruses. “Just Drive” is a salient single where every element of the song is catchy. Just try getting that contagious guitar melody or O'Connor’s intensely impassioned singing out of your memory lobe.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With its fourth studio album, Four Year Strong took a big risk in eliminating synthesizers and keyboards from its songs, in a bid to alter and mature its musical style. In Some Way, Shape or Form is the Worcester, Mass., band’s first recording without its ivory-tickling bandmate Josh Lyford. The results successfully abound, with a meatier-sounding band playing noticeably heavier songs. “The Infected” opens with fist-punching guitar riffs chugging along a flawless rhythm section that pumps like an external combustion engine under Dan O'Connor’s muscled vocal performance. Check out the tough-as-nails guitar lead that kickstarts “The Security of the Familiar, the Tranquility of Repetition”—then it unfolds into a dynamic rock ‘n’ roll song with the band’s penchant for soaring melodic choruses. “Just Drive” is a salient single where every element of the song is catchy. Just try getting that contagious guitar melody or O'Connor’s intensely impassioned singing out of your memory lobe.

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About Four Year Strong

Taking influence from the likes of Lifetime, Gorilla Biscuits, and New Found Glory, Four Year Strong built an aggressive and melody-riddled combination of hardcore, emo pop, and pop-punk upon their formation in Worcester, Massachusetts. The band's lineup -- vocalist/guitarists Dan O'Connor and Alan Day, bassist Joe Weiss, drummer Jake Massucco, and synth player Josh Lyford -- was cemented during the musicians' high-school tenure in 2003, though a form of the band had already existed for several years. Following the appearance of two self-released EPs, Four Year Strong signed a deal with New Jersey-based imprint I Surrender Records. Their debut full-length, Rise or Die Trying, was issued on the label in September 2007. Tour dates with groups like the Starting Line, Valencia, and From First to Last kept them on the road for the remainder of the year. Their next release, an album of '90s covers called Explains It All, arrived at the end of 2009 and was followed a year later by the original set Enemy of the World.

At this point, the band decided to lose its synth element, paring down to a quartet and parting ways with Josh Lyford in the process. In 2011, Four Year Strong went into the studio with producer David Bendeth to work on their fourth album, In Some Way, Shape, or Form, which was released at the end of the year. Their serious new tone took many fans by surprise and they took a few years to deliver a follow-up. Released in 2014, their Go Down in History EP was considered a sort of return to form. In early 2015, nearly four years after their last LP, they announced the release of their self-titled fifth album and first for California-based indie Pure Noise. The album was a success for Four Year Strong, reaching number 77 on Billboard's Top 200. They followed it up two years later with a collection of rarities and unplugged material called Some of You Will Like This, Some of You Won't. ~ Corey Apar & Timothy Monger

  • ORIGIN
    Worcester, MA
  • FORMED
    2001

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