After whispers of a brand new Four Year Strong release when album posters began appearing at UNIFY Festival over the last weekend, the band have since confirmed the good news. Alongside the announcement, which sees the Massachusetts outfit release their seventh album (and first in five years!) titled Brain Pain on February 28 through Pure Noise Records, fans have also been gifted with two brand new singles in “Brain Pain” and “Talking Myself In Circles”.
Unrelentingly fun and intensely enjoyable from their opening moments, these songs just feel like a new chapter within the book that Four Year Strong have spent almost 20 years writing. From the chunky bass lines to the enormous breakdowns, these are songs that will undoubtedly appease long-time fans while doing more than enough to entice an entirely new group of fans.
“Talking Myself In Circles” is an instant classic, the kind of song to get stuck inside your head from the first time you hear it. The bass line that prefaces the song is infectious, while its chorus is as catchy as any, proving that the band have not lost the ability to write a hook whatsoever. Vocalists Dan O’Connor and Alan Day still work in such perfect unison as they always have and the build-up into the song’s breakdown just before the three-minute mark just feels incredibly natural.
Seeming to focus lyrically on one’s own futile attempts to correct themselves and bring themselves back into focus, the accompanying music video that the band delivered with the song works to further this thought process. It’s a repetitive video, as is the process of going around in circles while the frustration that can be heard building up as the song progresses can similarly be seen in the video.
Where the prior is a contagious earworm of a song, “Brain Pain” is as heavy as it gets for the easycore kings. Beginning with bass chugs rough enough to wear down sandpaper, the song soon builds into a ruthless belter, breaking only for a slight reprieve before bursting into a slow-burn breakdown. While charged primarily by the foundations laid down by both bass and drum, it’s the underlying riffs that hide timidly behind that really hit the song for a home run.
Homing in on the struggle of feelings of hopelessness, the song maintains a lyrical cohesiveness with “Talking Myself In Circles”. However, where the previous felt more introspective, “Brain Pain” seems more outward-looking, in that it comes off as a cry for help and redemption. Less of a struggle with the self, “Brain Pain” seems to represent the hand that reaches out above the water when one is struggling.
It’s always interesting to see the changes that bands have undergone after long breaks between releases. Whether it be a change in interest or influence or a desire to modernise, the transformation of a band’s sound is often a divisive issue. Yet in the case of Four Year Strong, both of their new singles showcase a desire to be receptive to change without being uncompromising to the band’s identity.
For me, Four Year Strong have always been a band that were defined by the excitement that they inspired. Both “Talking Myself In Circles” and “Brain Pain” are songs as fun as the band have ever wrote, and if that’s the basis on whether or not these songs won my approval, than they both passed with flying colours.
Pre-order Brain Pain now: https://smarturl.it/FourYearStrongMA
Brain Pain Track Listing
1. It’s Cool
2. Get Out Of My Head
3. Crazy Pills
4. Talking Myself In Circles
5. Learn To Love The Lie
6. Brain Pain
7. Mouth Full Of Dirt
9. Be Good When I’m Gone
10. The Worst Part About Me
11. Usefully Useless
12. Young at Heart