Four Year Strong

Some of You Will Like This, Some of You Won't

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Massachusetts pop-punk stalwarts Four Year Strong open the vaults and flash their acoustic chops on the declaratively titled rarities collection, Some of You Will Like This, Some of You Won't. Formed in Worcester in 2001, the band has undoubtedly amassed a trunkful of one-offs, B-sides, and assorted non-album cuts over the years, but this 12-track set seems designed as more of a traditional album than the disassociated hodgepodge it could have been. This is largely thanks to the numerous unplugged reimaginings of previously recorded songs that represent a dramatic enough departure from their source material to make the whole thing feel like a new project. To call the arrangements unplugged isn't quite accurate, as many come across as more a hybrid of crisp acoustic guitars and rich harmonies supported by occasional full-on drum parts and sudden spikes into distorted catharsis. Opener "It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now" expands on its 2010 original version by reshaping the tempo and tone into pastoral acoustic balladry before adding a heavy electric coda of mathy riffage. Their 2014 single, "We All Float Down Here," gets recast as an indie folk banger replete with mandolin and dobro. The bright electronic-laced "Nice to Know" comes from the previously unreleased camp and in spite of its non-acoustic arrangement, it somehow tucks into the overall tonal mix. The appeal here is clearly aimed at Four Year Strong's existing fan base and, by nature of it being a rarities collection, it has its hits and misses. A more literal reading of the title might be "Some of This Works, Some of This Doesn't," but it's still nice to hear the band stretch out a bit into uncharted waters.

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