Thursday, June 30, 2011

Taking Back Sunday - Self-Titled Record Review

It's not easy to be Taking Back Sunday. Since releasing Tell All Your Friends back in 2002, the band have endured a staggering number of lineup changes, feuds with other notable acts and a sound that differed with almost every release. But regardless of the constant turmoil, the Long Island outfit have managed to gain a worldwide fan base that has been eagerly awaiting the release of the band's new Self-Titled album.

TBS reinstated guitarist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Copper (both of whom made up the original TBS lineup) in early 2010 after letting go of Matt Fazzi and Matt Rubano. And in the almost year-and-a-half since bringing the two originators back, the band have been touring and excessively working on the new album - one that was promised to be one of TBS' best pieces of work so far.

So how does it stack up to the band's 2009 release, New Again? Better yet, can it measure up to Tell All Your Friends - the only other record to be released featuring all five current TBS members.

Well, this album certainly feels nothing like New Again. In place of the almost slowed down and lighthearted structure found on that record, TBS have come back swinging with a much darker and resilient chunk of rock 'n' roll. It's not punk-rock, it's not hardcore and it's not alternative - it's somewhere in between all of that.

Nolan's familiar screams and backups only help to accentuate lead singer Adam Lazzara's emotionally sparked vocals. In that respect, the Self-Titled effort is on par with Tell All Your Friends. But lyrically, the new record comes across as a more mature sounding TBS. It's not necessarily as literal as some of the band's earlier work. The record wrestles with ideas of religion, happiness and the past, while at most times being open to interpretation. There's a lot going on throughout the album, and the message isn't always clear - a testament to Lazzara's heightened understanding of poetic license.

But musically, the Self-Titled release should please fans. Pair mosh-ready choruses like that found on "This All Now" with the many singalong breakdowns ("Sad Savior") and you're bound to get a record that will resonate with TBS followers. This album dances with the more technical side of the band. Look for a lot of lead guitars, overdriven amps and snare work.

Most of the songs on Self-Titled should translate well to the band's live show. TBS have tried out a number of new songs during their last few tours, and they come across as much more energetic and lively when compared to other recent works in the band's collection.

All in all, this release will mark another interesting chapter in the book of TBS.

While this new, but original, slice of the band is refreshing, it certainly won't define the them. They've managed to say goodbye to their emo-infused past while embracing a purely rock 'n' roll mindset. But let's face it, while a grownup sound might be the new face of TBS from now on, no one's ever going to forget those mic-swinging emo kids from Long Island.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...