The word “hiatus” is never good, especially when it comes to bands. Groups with internal problems often go the ‘indefinite hiatus’ route instead of just calling a quits, leaving their fan base in limbo, hoping that one day they’ll reunite, recapturing a past glory. Two years ago it looked like Yellowcard were finished, left to waste away in hiatus purgatory. Members moved on to different projects and the group’s best album Paper Walls fell on deaf ears. So it came as a surprise when YC resurfaced late last year, and teamed up with pop-punk mega producer Neal Avron to create When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes.
To be honest, I got chills when I popped the new disc in my car stereo on the way home from the record store. Hearing Ryan Key sing over classic pop punk riffs and Longineu Parson’s ill drumming brought me back to when I first fell in love with the band. WYTTSY has been heralded as a return to Yellowcard’s signature sound. Sure, the record is straight forward rock with flashes of violin and typical lyrics, but just because the new songs sound similar to their earlier albums doesn’t mean they’re good.
Song’s like “For You and Your Denial” (below) and “With You Around” are fun and solid additions to the Yellowcard sing-a-long catalog. Beyond that though, pretty much everything else sounds like Ocean Avenue b-sides. Now that may be what they were going for–a reintroduction of sorts to new audiences–but what I always loved about the band was their musicianship and ability to push themselves creatively from album to album. The progression from One For The Kids to Paper Walls has been extremely rewarding to follow, which lead me to believe that the reunited band (with yet another new bassist) would one-up themselves once again.
This album feels rushed, and almost too elementary for a band with the talent of Yellowcard. Sean Macklin’s violin gets buried on several tracks, choruses lack a pop catchiness, and LP seems to have restrained himself behind the kit. WYTTSY isn’t bad by any imagination, it just doesn’t live up to my expectations. Still, it’s great to have the band back and I look forward to whatever they do next.