Following up on Explains It All, an album of ‘90s covers, Four Year Strong return to the crossroads of emo and pop-punk with their second album of original material, Enemy of the World. The Worcester, MA quintet’s sound remains largely unchanged, with their combination of pop-punk energy, uplifting singalong choruses, and metalcore flourishes. There’s not a lot in the way of innovation here, but there doesn’t really need to be. Four Year Strong has stumbled upon a sound that takes the catchiest elements from three different genres and bundles them up in a high-energy package that’s undeniably catchy. Alone, these styles have almost been done to death. By mixing them together, the band has created a dynamic sound that keeps the listener on their toes as they effortlessly shift from hardcore breakdowns to sweeping, half-time choruses. On “It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong,” the album opener and first single, the song shifts back and forth easily from metalcore chugging to driving, major-key passages that invite you to join in and help out with the vocal duties. Jampacked with hooks and gang vocals, the rest of the album follows along those same lines, showing off the talents of a band of tight and consistent musicians and songwriters who’ve taken a wide range of styles and combined them into something that is all their own.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney