Bad Vibrations, the 2016 album from A Day To Remember, debuted at a staggering #2 on the Billboard Top 200 in its first week of release – selling over 67,000 copies. Certainly, it was a highly-anticipated album, as the Ocala band had a massive amount of hype coming off multiple very successful album cycles. Fast forward five years, though, and much has changed -both in the industry as well as the band’s identity crisis. The band’s newest album, You’re Welcome, took almost 5 years to see a release. The chart numbers are in, and while it should be noted physical album sales are lower than ever (with a reliance on streaming and uptick in vinyl sales numbers), it appears said identity crisis didn’t help the band’s numbers.
As others have already noted, You’re Welcome experienced a sharp decline in first-week album sales, coming in at over 43,000 fewer than its 2016 predecessor. Even considering the decline in physical album sales, that’s a pretty steep drop for an album that really should have matched its predecessor, at the very least. After all, the hype for it was through the roof – this is what fans waited on for five years. The question is, for what? Songs like “Mindreader” weren’t too bad, and there’s even a good track here in the form of the throwback “Last Chance To Dance (Bad Friend)”, but when the best tracks here might well be labeled as “not too bad”, there’s a problem.
One of the biggest problems the band now faces is the dreaded identity crisis. On previous albums, tracks like “Mr. Highway’s Thinking About The End” and “Fast Forward To 2012” were notable for their juxtaposition of metalcore with pop-punk, something the band has always thrived on. And it’s not like the band didn’t do this on their previous album Bad Vibrations, either – while it may not have been the band’s best overall effort, pretty much any song off that record is better than what long-suffering fans will find on You’re Welcome. In fact, many songs here bring to mind previous songs the band has done already – “Everything We Need” is a retread of 2009’s “If It Means A Lot To You”, and “Brick Wall” is a confusing mess of tempo changes with a breakdown that’s supposed to be heavy, but just ends up a jumbled mess. Meanwhile, you have songs like “F.Y.M.” (which means “Fuck You Money”). You’d think this might be one of the band’s requisite heavy tracks, but instead comes off as something that might be playing in an American Eagle store in 2009. And the lyrics are even more abysmal.
This was supposed to be a “happier” record for the band, of course. However, the abysmal lyrics on You’re Welcome might feel like that, but plenty of post-hardcore and metalcore bands have at least attempted going in a poppier direction without sounding this discordant. Unfortunately, You’re Welcome is a clear instance of where this just doesn’t seem to work – and will certainly have fans clamoring for the days of For Those Who Have Heart, where their pop-punk/metalcore dichotomy was executed much, much better.