ALBUM REVIEW: Four Year Strong – Brain Pain
It’s hard to believe the career trajectory Four Year Strong would have in the years following the iconic releases of Rise or Die Trying and Enemy of the World, but the lacklustre response to In Some Way, Shape, or Form, and the all but ignored self-titled album in 2015, sees the pop-punk veterans looking to re-state their claim on what many thought should be their undisputed crown with sixth studio album, Brain Pain.
Unfortunately, Brain Pain is not the album to do this.
Tracks like Get out of my Head, Talking Myself in Circles and Learn to Love the Lie are perfectly good songs, and are probably the best tracks on the album, the ferocious Learn to Love the Lie in particular, but the rest of the album seems like the band are a bit afraid to pull the trigger and really let rip. The heavy parts are heavy without being interesting and the poppy parts don’t feature the wit or charm found on earlier efforts. It feels like Four Year Strong have tried to write an album that the fans want to hear, but without fully understanding or accepting what fans liked about them.
Brain Pain features all the trademark things you would expect from a Four Year Strong album and there are some good tracks on it, but the band doesn’t seem to be comfortable or confident in their own skin anymore. It’s a bit unfair to compare the album to Rise or Die Trying and Enemy of the World, but Brain Pain doesn’t feature any of the originality found on those two albums, nor does the band display any of the swagger and unwavering self-belief that made fans fall in love with Four Year Strong in the first place. Brain Pain, sadly, just doesn’t feature the songs to take this up a notch from a middling album.
Standout tracks: Get Out of My Head, Talking Myself in Circles, Learn to Love the Lie
For fans of: New Found Glory, Such Gold, Me vs. Hero
Written by: Henry McCaughtrie