As their 10th anniversary of their first full length approaches, And Their Name Was Treason, A Day To Remember proved amazing resistance to being strong-armed into any particular genre, continuing to shift their sound much to the delight (or chagrin) of their fans. But one thing is undeniable––over the years, A Day To Remember have showcased stunning versatility, with the rare ability to sell the soft songs as well as the hard ones. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you probably know ‘em. Without further ado:
10. “1958” (And Their Name Was Treason, 2005)
“1958” is a throwback to ADTR’s now decade-old first––and notably youthful in comparison––full-length, And Their Name Was Treason. While the track now stands as a testament to just how far McKinnon has come as a vocalist, “1958” serves as the quintessential early example of just how well ADTR understands song structure, and why they’re still relevant a decade later.
9.“Leave All The Lights On” (Common Courtesy, 2013)
A bonus track from Common Courtesy, “Leave All The Lights On” tautly delivers a highly relatable story––a person desperately trying to figure out if there’s any way to salvage a relationship with someone who once meant the world to them. What stands out about this track is how effectively the lyrics tell that tale, minus the angst from earlier offerings. This is ADTR all grown up, and it’s a track that’s brilliant in its simplicity and deserving of far more than a spot as a bonus track. Ahem.
8. “You Should’ve Killed Me When You Had The Chance” (For Those Who Have Heart, 2007)
This track, from the band’s much-celebrated effort For Those Who Have Heart, makes this list for one reason: To date, it is one of the best choruses the band have ever written, perfectly mirroring the over-the-top angsty lyrics in an undeniably catchy hook.
7. “2nd Sucks” (What Separates Me From You, 2010)
Remember when I said that ADTR is as good at soft as they are at heavy? “2nd Sucks” is case and proof of their bludgeoning side. The song hits hard and never lets up. Between the heavy distortion and breakdowns is one of the best “fuck off” songs perhaps ever written.
6. “I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?” (Homesick, 2009)
Featuring The Devil Wears Prada’s Mike Hranica (anyone else remember when these two were opening for Silverstein?), this track is a great example from Homesick of what ADTR have made their name on—that perfect marriage of catchy clean vocals and hardcore stylings. Their refusal to commit to a genre never sounded so good. When a song can make an entire audience cough in unison, you’ve probably done something right.
6. “Homesick” (Homesick, 2009)
Homesick’s title track is a gem all about the joys of coming of age and crafting your identity—a feat that’s no doubt much more complicated when half your time is spent living out of a moving vehicle and venues across the world. The real artistry is found in the way the song develops: From the frantic pop-punk drumbeat and gang-vocals in the verses, to the more melodic, laid-back choruses, which culminates in the all-out declaration that is the bridge––the song translates on a “feels” level even if you don’t speak the language.
5. “Monument” (For Those Who Have Heart, 2007)
“Monument,” off of For Those Who Have Heart, is a promise ADTR made to the world that they’ve more than kept. This vaguely restless number about the perils of being a dreamer is not the catchiest tune in their arsenal, but it still manages to feel like an anthem.
4. “Another Song About The Weekend” (Acoustic) (Homesick, 2009)
Of ADTR’s acoustic catalog, this song––a bonus track on the extended version of Homesick––is a standout original, despite the fact that it’s an acoustic adaptation of an electric. The unplugged rendering feels very appropriate, offering a more dynamic vocal take on an already excellent track. It’s almost a better acoustic song than many tracks that were purposefully written that way.
3. “Sometimes You’re The Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail” (Common Courtesy, 2013)
From ADTR’s latest work, Common Courtesy, “Sometimes You’re The Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail” is just quintessential ADTR. It’s a high-energy mix of heavy and light, with a stark vulnerability in the bare-bones bridge that really lays out the thesis of the song––“hey, it’s okay to be imperfect”––in a way that is impossible to ignore.
2. “All Signs Point To Lauderdale” (What Separates Me From You, 2010)
A standout track on the polarizing fourth release What Separates Me From You, “All Signs Point To Lauderdale” was the first track that really showcased just how well ADTR could write music that was palatable for folks who prefer more radio-friendly genres, while still paying significant homage to their own signature instrumental style.
1. “Right Back At It Again” (Common Courtesy, 2013)
As a long time ADTR fan, choosing the number one song wasn’t easy. With a catalog this diverse, there were a lot of different ways it could go, but at the end of the day, “Right Back At It Again” takes the spot because of what it represents as well as by virtue of the song itself. It’s a flawlessly executed, triumphant pop-punk anthem from a record that fans almost never got to hear, and that in and of itself is enough.