When I woke up last night on the couch at 3am like I do most nights because I legitimately have a problem with letting days come to an end—I NEVER want the days to end—but I had all of these grand ideas about what I was going to wake up and write about today. I literally spent all day yesterday contemplating on whether to write an article about WWE SmackDown or about my theories on UFC and how they are taking over everything, but I’m not going to write about either of those things right now. Ya, I can be an indecisive f***er—just ask my girlfriend! She would be more than happy to tell you about how I’ll spend an hour scrolling through movies and shows on the television trying to find something to watch without being able to actually pick anything…chill out, I’m working on it!

So anyways, I woke up this morning, I shook my skull to clear the cobwebs and rolled out of the bed, stumbling to the toilet to relieve myself. The crusty chunks on the interiors of my eye-sockets were serious as f*** today—picking these things out of my eyes bared a stark resemblance to picking that giant booger you can’t believe is in your nose that’s been bothering you for what feels like a lifetime, but you can’t pick it because you’re in public! They were strangely embarrassing and utterly gross! Thank god I wasn’t out in the streets with these grotesque eye-snots dangling from my lacrimal caruncle, blurring my vision and not being able scrape the little bastards out. I plucked those little annoying f***ers and rushed downstairs for the coffee pot like a zombie craving human flesh. Yes, I need my coffee!

I was scrolling through social media feeds on my phone while waiting for my java to brew like I do every morning, and I came across an advertisement on Facebook. It was a promotional post about the new A Day to Remember album that comes out tomorrow called Bad Vibrations. It jarred my memory and made me begin to fill up like a balloon with excitement and anticipation. I listened to one song from the album the other day called “Bullfight” and it was so good that I literally had to watch the music video two times, back to back. Today, I listened to a couple more songs from it that I was able to find online and I have to declare that I haven’t been more excited about a new album in as long as I can remember! At that very moment, I knew what I was going to write about. So I grabbed my cup of caffeine, my phone, my big bag of grass, my glass pipe, and my vaporizer—and I said, “Let’s get to work!”

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I grew up loving music of all types however, Polka and Folk music generally stink it up like the fat guy that you’ve been waiting for to get out of the bathroom for twenty minutes at the McDonalds a few blocks from your house. Also, f*** this lazy ass attempt on hip-hop music that generally floods most of the airwaves in today’s society. I like REAL, old school hip-hop and I love the real MC’s that pioneered the genre such as the Beastie Boys, NWA, Gang Starr, NAS, 2PAC and Biggie Smalls, to name just a few. However, I generally grew up on all forms and variations of rock n’ roll music. Bands like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Alice in Chains, Megadeth and Pantera have been with me since my youth like a lifelong best friend. I’m a fan of bands that blend styles to innovate new genres of music that are somewhere in-between, but can’t be considered or defined or clustered into a group by a specific “type” of sound.

Back in 2006, my best friend introduced me to A Day to Remember and they quickly grew on me. In my early years as a little kid I was into the more classic side of rock music, but I was also discovering a love for the alternative side of the music that was becoming more and more prevalent in the early 1990’s. By the time I was in high school I was very much into the more punk/emo side of rock music and I could relate to that archetype because most of these bands were young like me and they were singing about all of the things I could relate to—girls, love, school, success, depression, anxiety, trying to fit in, searching for a place to call home in this world, and a niche to make my own—but by the time high school was over, this stuff wasn’t really resonating with me as much and I found myself having more and more trouble connecting with the music and the message because, let’s face it, I grew out of it and needed something with more intensity that I could relate to more intimately.

ADTR was the first band I’d heard that blended the elements of pop music, emo music, punk music, hardcore music and metal music into this larger than life mass of strong emotions and a defining, new style of rock music in the most general sense. These guys were, and still are GAMECHANGERS! I don’t know—maybe it’s the soft, beautiful harmonies they are able to blend with the ferocious chugs of a palm-muted electric guitar that makes me want to run in mosh pits and swing for the fences. Or, maybe it’s the blast beats of a double-bass kick drum that will rumble your body right down to the foundation of your structure. Then again, I can’t forget about the ever so climactic bass drops that they incorporate into their songs, or the gnarly breakdowns that make me grit my teeth and want to jump out of my own skin!

All of these elements make me love this band for their dedication to making original, unique music that pushes boundaries and refuses to be stereotyped into one less-than-basic musical genre. These dudes have only grown and moved forward in the ten years that I’ve been an avid fan, and they’re only getting better, more refined, and exploring an experimental side of themselves in order to continuously grow—I love that and admire that. They HAVE NOT sold out! A huge problem that I have with many other bands today is that they will put out like two great albums and then s*** the bed for the rest of their careers because they’ve already “made it”—f*** that! If you’re not trying to become the strongest version of yourself every single day, whether you’re a single person or a group of musicians, then you’re just wasting your life away and this is what I whole-heartedly believe. This is one band that has not done that!

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I encourage any fan of any rock style to check this group of innovators because I believe that they offer something for everyone. Even if you don’t like them per say, I’ll bet my last dollar that you’ll probably like at least one of their songs. This new album is clearly a milestone, a defining mark in their careers as musicians where they pushed even harder and stood more sternly in the face of their detractors. They haven’t just tapped out and said “let’s just put out a bulls*** generic album to get paid!” What they’ve done is grown their brand and widened the scope of their audience. This is a band that went to court against their old label, Victory Records, in an attempt to self-release their last two albums—and they won! They are purists and they are true to themselves and their fans. THAT is why I love them!

So, tomorrow, I will roll out of bed much like I did today but with a certain spark or glare in my crusty eyes because I’ll know that I can go buy the new ADTR album, Bad Vibrations! I urge every person that reads this to watch the music videos attached. I would love to be able to turn people on to this band like my very best friend in this world did for me over ten years ago.

As always, please share your comments, thoughts and opinions. They are more than welcomed regardless of whether you agree or disagree with me! I welcome it all—Buy the ticket, Take the ride!

“It’s weird. See, it’s funny because we have been doing this for so long. When we started, this s*** was not cool. Everyone told us mixing the two genres wouldn’t work. Hell, a lot of people still feel that way. We’ve just always played what we wanted to hear, and to be honest people weren’t doing it back then. We loved pop punk, we loved hardcore bands, and we couldn’t decide what to be. So we said f*** it. Let’s do them both.”—Lead singer, Jeremy McKinnon

Until next time, The Gonzo Shark checks out…

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